Earlier this week the Scottish Government published a consultation on plans to change the public procurement rules in Scotland. The changes are necessary to implement three new European Union directives – the Public Procurement Directive, the Utilities Directive and the Concessions Directive – of which the first occupies the majority of the consultation’s focus. It also discusses elements of the recently passed Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 which have yet to be implemented.
The consultation emphasises the importance of balancing sustainable and socially responsible purchasing with the need to standardise and streamline public procurement processes for the benefit of both the public and private sector.
The Scottish Government’s decision to conduct a consultation prior to drafting regulations to transpose the new procurement legislation into domestic law is in contrast with the approach taken by the UK Government – the latter has already published a draft of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. This decision is likely to be viewed favourably by those engaged in public procurement activities in Scotland as it offers them the opportunity to input at an early stage into the development of new Scottish public procurement regulations. The deadline for responding is 30 April 2015.
The Scottish Government’s aim is to introduce the new procurement regulations by the end of 2015.
The full consultation and associated documentation is available by clicking here.