Scotland boosts local supply base with sub-contract opportunities

24 October 2012

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24 October 2012 | Anna Reynolds

The Scottish government is developing its Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) website to advertise sub-contract opportunities, after a successful trial with Balfour Beatty.

Balfour Beatty Scottish & Southern won the £44 million contract to construct a purpose-built Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh for the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, which is due for completion in early 2014.

A clause in the contract meant that Balfour Beatty could advertise any sub-contract opportunities through the PCS website. As a result, 23 out of the 25 sub-contracts went to Scottish companies.

Gary Robinson, head of Development Branch at Scottish Procurement, told SM: “We are using tools that we have built up in public procurement to build a sustainable supply chain. Using local suppliers is not only cheaper for the government, but also means projects are delivered on time and in a far more transparent process.”

Robinson continued: “Often primary contractors will drag supply chains from Europe to work locally. They will build it and leave something that we can’t sustain. Engaging a local supply base creates ownership.”

Speaking at the Procurex conference in Glasgow yesterday, Bill Doig, senior commercial manager at Balfour Beatty, said: “This benefits us all. We have local companies employing local labour thereby benefiting the local community. And for Balfour Beatty, new sub-contractors have been identified, which is of great benefit to ourselves for future work.
“This has been a great example of collaborative working with the Scottish government.”

The government plans to make this a standard process across Scotland by the beginning of next year, with all large construction contracts re-tendering smaller, sub-contracts through PCS.

The scheme has also been piloted on the Forth Replacement Crossing project in Edinburgh.

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