Scotland moves into 'next phase' of procurement reform

23 October 2013

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24 October 2013 | Gurjit Degun

The Scottish Procurement Reform Bill is taking the country into the “next phase” of procurement reform. 

That’s according to Alastair Merrill, director of procurement and commercial at the Scottish Government. 

Speaking to SM at the Scottish Government’s ninth National Public Procurement Conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, Merrill explained that there is now a “genuine partnership” with businesses, the third sector and the public sector.

“It’s about looking at the broader impact of procurement on economic recovery and economic growth and looking beyond dashing to the bottom price,” he said.

Asked about the possible implications on procurement reform of Scottish independence, Merrill said that he did not see the procurement reform programme changing direction: “It would continue around the Scottish model and those economic benefits.”

He added: “Procurement is already a devolved function. We have our own legal system governing procurement with both the reform bill and procurement regulations.

“Independence would require us to buy a broader range of goods and services and there would be additional areas such as defence, which is subject to its own procurement regulations, so that would be a move into a new and different area.”

Merrill continued: “We are a much smaller country than England, with 32 local authorities, so you can actually get people together in the same room. The levers of influence are much more direct in Scotland because of the different scale.”

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