Scottish minister calls for spending reform

27 October 2010
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27 October 2010 | Angeline Albert in Glasgow

The scope of procurement reform must be extended, Scotlands deputy first minister told buyers at the purchasing exhibition Procurex Scotland yesterday.

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said procurement was essential to meet Scotlands budgetary challenges.

Chancellor George Osbornes spending review revealed that Scotlands budget will be cut by £1.3 billion in cash terms in 2011-12 compared to 2010-11 - including a fall of £800 million in the capital budget.

No matter how far we have come we also all recognise that in the current climate there is still more work to do. All public sector bodies need to continue to improve their procurement practices. The value that procurement professionals can add to that process should be recognised.

There have been some real success stories but there are some significant gaps. Procurement hasnt yet begun to tackle construction and there are potential huge savings to be made there. During the downturn tender prices dropped by 15-20 per cent and that offers savings for public bodies.”

Next year capital budgets will fall by a quarter, Sturgeon said, and public sector procurement needed to find new and creative ways to drive down costs.

She was speaking on the day of the launch of a new procurement journey guide booklet aimed at helping public sector staff take the right procurement steps, from preparing a brief to contract management stage.

Savings of £327 million were achieved in Scotland through better procurement in 2008-09.

John Swinney, cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, will outline Scotland’s four-year budget plan in the next few weeks.

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