App launch for Scotland contracts

27 October 2010
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27 October 2010 | Angeline Albert 

The Scottish Government has launched what it claims is the world’s first app for contract opportunities in the public sector.        

The application for Public Contract Scotland (PCS), the Scottish government’s purchasing portal, will enable businesses to access contract notices as they are posted and will work with Apple iPhones and iPads.

Firms can tap into a £9 billion-a-year public sector market and search by commodity, category and date. 

The app was launched in Glasgow yesterday at national procurement conferenceProcurex Scotland.  

The government said the launch reflects the importance of SMEs to the public sector. SMEs often don’t have specific teams to look at tender submissions so this application enables them to browse for opportunities while on the move. SMEs make up 80 per cent of suppliers and account for 50 per cent of spend to contracting organisations across the country.

Between August 2009 and July 2010, 11,000 notices and awards were published on the PCS portal, which was introduced two years ago. Some 48,000 suppliers and 300 public sector procurement teams are registered on it. Estimated efficiency savings – in time, money and other resources for buyers and suppliers using the portal - are more than £36 million over three years.  

Both the PCS portal and the app are available free and are part of the government’s public procurement reform programme.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The launch of the app further demonstrates how Scotland is leading the way internationally in harnessing technology to make public sector purchasing more efficient.”  

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