Procurement Bill sent to Parliament

Posted in: General News

First Minister tells Convener’s Group during historic appearance.

Proposed new legislation to make it easier for new, small and third sector companies to bid for public contracts has moved closer to becoming reality today.

First Minister Alex Salmond told members – during a historic appearance in front of the Scottish Parliament Convener’s Group – that the Procurement Reform Bill has been sent to the Parliament today (Thursday 12 September).

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.

The First Minister also said that with the agreement of Parliament, Scotland could go further than the plans unveiled by the Welsh Government this week to bar companies that blacklist workers from bidding for multi-million pound public sector contracts.

He said:

“The Procurement Reform Bill has the potential to make a difference to many lives. It will provide new powers to tackle companies that do not comply with their legal obligations, including blacklisting and employment law.

“I welcome the actions of the Welsh Government in tackling this unacceptable practice. Our Bill here in Scotland will give Parliament the opportunity to go further than Wales, by taking the power to regulate how companies are selected to bid and how their suitability should be assessed. These regulations will address blacklisting, working within the framework of EU law.

“Procurement is a vital part of the government process worth billions of pounds to the economy and it is only right that this Parliament should be seen to take direct action.

“In April 2013, during their congress which I addressed, the STUC called for government at all levels to review procurement practices as a matter of urgency to address issues such as blacklisting. Our Bill shows the Scottish Government delivering on our commitment to action.”

Link to announcement.