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18 May 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland have won 75 per cent of deals advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) website, this week’s Government Progress Report 2011 revealed.
PCS provides a single access point for suppliers who register their details to receive updates on more than 21,000 contract opportunities. During the past year, more than 6,200 Scottish suppliers won deals. The portal now has 60,000 businesses and 4,000 buyers signed up.
In 2011, the ‘quick quote’ service was introduced which enables public bodies to request simple quotes for low-value deals from registered firms. In the past year 8,000 quick quote awards have been made. Another addition to the site was a ‘supplier finder’ service for buyers.
In one example, the report outlines how Fife-based Tecnica, a business systems integration and support specialist, has benefited from PCS. The firm signed up when it first launched and has won contracts with The Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh, the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban and Scottish Natural Heritage. Tecnica’s managing director Colin Archer, said: “It is easy to search for and submit tenders using the e-tendering system and, given so many public sector organisations are using PCS, it saves a lot of time and effort when trying to source contract opportunities.”
From a public-sector perspective the report reveals how Fife Council has awarded 89 per cent of its contracts to Scottish-based suppliers using PCS. Fife Council is responsible for delivering £325 million of services through external suppliers. Allan Tough, team leader corporate procurement, said: “Since adopting PCS the council has seen significant economic and efficiency savings.”
The PCS service is managed by Scottish Procurement and is part of the Scottish Government’s public procurement reform programme, which aims to increase efficiency.