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4 February 2014 | Gurjit Degun
A group of members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have welcomed the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill, saying it should proceed.
The bill aims to establish a national legislative framework for public procurement processes that are transparent, streamlined, standardised, proportionate, fair and business-friendly.
The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, which has been scrutinising the proposed legislation, said while it supported the provision on procurement strategies it has asked the Scottish Government to clarify how they could be used to provide advance notice of contracts.
The committee also welcomed the approach to be taken by the bill to eliminate blacklisting. It said that this will support existing guidance.
ICIC convener Maureen Watt, Scottish National Party MSP, said: “Our committee believes that legislation is required to improve the situation for those attempting to access public contracts. We therefore recommend that the Scottish Parliament agrees to the general principles of the bill and allows it to continue its passage through Parliament.
“We have received assurances from the Scottish Government that, should the bill progress, it will seek to exempt health and social care contracts and address the particular circumstances faced by universities and colleges. These were important areas of concern expressed by stakeholders during our evidence taking and the committee welcomed this assurance.”
Following the committee's report, a date will be set for its debate in Parliament by the full chamber.