Latest Newsletter

Posted in: General News

In this e-newsletter from the team at Ready for Business you can read more about the further development and success of the Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers programme. To subscribe to the newsletter visit the signup page.


Procurement Bill sent to Scottish Parliament
First Minister Alex Salmond announced on September 12th that the long awaited Procurement Reform Bill had now been sent to the Scottish Parliament.  He said that the legislation would make it easier for business, particularly newer businesses, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and the third sector to access public contract opportunities, and would also generate new training and employment opportunities.  He added that the Bill will require public bodies to consider how their procurement activity can improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of local communities.  An announcement is expected shortly on the legislative timetable for this Bill.  This has followed detailed legal consideration of the expected content of the new EU public procurement Directive which The European Commission had initially planned to finalise by December 2012. The timescales for this have now slipped back to autumn of this year.
GO Awards
Ready for Business is delighted to have been nominated as a finalist in 2 categories, Collaborative Procurement and Procurement Innovation, in the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards Scotland 2013/14. This is a fantastic recognition of progress and achievement for our procurement activity, especially given the level of competition for these Awards. While we will not know whether we will go on to win an Award until 22 October, even achieving Finalist status is a great commendation for the programme and all we have achieved.
“The GO Awards Scotland are the most prestigious public procurement awards in the country, and the 2013/14 Awards has seen intense competition across each of the categories. Given this, and an overall increase in the quality of submissions this year, to be nominated as a GO Awards finalist is a fantastic achievement – one which every organisation involved should be extremely proud of.” – Grahame Steed, Lead Judge, GO Awards Scotland 2013/14.
PSP model goes international
Ready for Business recently presented the Low Moss PSP at the Social Entrepreneurs Network’s international conference “Public sector capacity – strategic partnerships and governance models” in Trento (Italy). The meeting also provided an opportunity to hear and learn more about some of the great partnership work currently happening across Europe. Read more here.

MALTESE PUBLIC-SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP aims to improve social services offered by NGO
Malta is now following Scotland’s example in using the Public-Social Partnership (PSP) model to design and commission services.
Malta’s Minister for Social Solidarity, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, has announced that the government will soon be entering into partnership with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) providing social services using the public-social partnership (PSP) model. This is expected to give rise to further opportunities for NGOs to develop and plan better services. She was impressed by the new Child Care Centre at Dar Qalb ta’ Gesu’, which accommodates families who have suffered from domestic violence in their own homes and helps residents to live a better life in a protected environment.  This initiative was developed through a PSP involving the Maltese Government, the Church in Malta and the NGO, Dar Qalb ta’ Gesu’.
Public and Third Sector Meet in East Ayrshire 
Social Value in Commissioning and the Role of the Third Sector.  A total of thirty five delegates in East Ayrshire – seventeen from the public sector and eighteen from the third sector – attended on 28th August an introductory workshop on Public Social Partnerships (PSPs), Community Benefit Clauses (CBCs), and Setting, Managing and Measuring Outcomes.  For many public and third sector participants this was the first time they had had explained to them what is involved in a PSP and some key success features of the PSP model.  This led to a lively discussion as participants sought to identify local opportunities for a PSP. Those attending the afternoon workshop on CBCs had an opportunity to explore case studies exemplifying the benefits of CBCs, the legal considerations, and to discuss how such clauses might be implemented in East Ayrshire.  The ‘Outcomes’ workshop provided practical tools such as use of ‘Theory of Change’ to guide development of outcomes specs and outcome measures.  The feedback was very positive.  One local authority participant commented, “The Outcomes workshop was thought provoking and interesting” and a social care third sector participant noted, “A good information and knowledge building exercise”. Our thanks to CVO East Ayrshire who provided excellent training facilities for the workshop.
Public and voluntary sector services to work together in Argyll and Bute 
A report on the Argyll and Bute Local Services Initiative, aimed at improving the way local services are delivered has been published recently. The report highlights what the ‘critical factors’ are for delivering services in partnership with others and include understanding of customers’ needs, better communication, the importance of support networks and more recognition of the value of services to customers.
The report includes 10 local case studies that illustrate the challenges of delivering services in a climate of reduced budgets and growing need. Welcoming the report, Argyll and Bute Council Leader Roddy McCuish said
‘The council is committed to thinking creatively and working in partnership in order to continue to deliver the services valued by the communities. We will work closely with voluntary, community and social enterprise groups as well as other public bodies and members of our communities in order to offer the best possible services.’ See the full report.
Ready for Business has published a case study on this innovative approach earlier, which can be accessed here.


The Scottish Government’s Ninth National Public Procurement Conference will be held on 22 Oct 2013 in SECC, Glasgow.
Upcoming: South Ayrshire Community Transport ‘Partners for Change’
The latest ‘Partners for Change’ programme will kick off with their first session on 19th September at which Senior Managers from South Ayrshire Council and community transport providers will jointly explore Opportunities and Challenges and Local Goals and Objectives for innovative transport solutions to community needs across South Ayrshire.  Graham Dunn, Transport Development Officer for SPT, who provided a briefing for participants, will argue that while transport is a major element of what community transport is about that this is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself, as community transport is first and foremost about people and their needs.

Case Studies

Partners for Change: Community Transport in North Lanarkshire
North Lanarkshire Council is increasingly recognising the importance of community transport in helping to meet local transport needs in a financially efficient way and want to improve joint working with the emerging community transport sector. After participating in the Partners for Change process involving NLC, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and the third sector community transport providers there is now a Partnership Plan in place that improves co-operation, implements a number of resource sharing opportunities and identified a range of community transport solutions. For more detailsee case study.
Championing Social Value – Pauline Graham
As CEO of Social Firm Scotland Pauline has been at the forefront of championing the social enterprise movement in Scotland for well over twelve years. Read more about Pauline’s contributions to and achievements in procurement reform here.


It would be really helpful if I could discuss sustainable procurement issues with my colleagues. Is there a possibility to do so?
Yes, there is now a LinkedIn group set up, supported by the Ready for Business staff, where you can ask questions, join in discussions and learn from others. To become a member of this group visit the LinkedIn Group.