ARGYLL and Bute Council has been shortlisted for two national awards in the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards Scotland 2014/15.
The Procurement and Commissioning team, who focus on getting the best value for public money, are in the running for the GO Local Authority Team of the Year award, and along with their ICT colleagues have been shortlisted for the Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year.
The project which attracted the eyes of the judges in the Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility category was the IT recycling/disposal contract awarded in June 2013. This helps the council meet its IT equipment recycling requirements in a cost-effective way and has also seen recycled equipment donated to charities and third sector organisations across Argyll and Bute – providing them with IT access at a low cost. Nearly 17 tonnes of redundant equipment has been reused rather than recycled, reducing our carbon footprint. The income from the new disposal contract is being used to fund two modern ICT apprenticeships and these will be launched this autumn.
Setting up a number of small centralised purchase ordering teams secured a place on the shortlist for the Local Authorities Team of the Year award. This freed up time for other colleagues and provided an efficient, cost effective way of booking travel and accommodation and placing orders for material used in construction. It also means the team can dedicate time to building up good relationships with suppliers – which in turn helps secure best value and enables successful negotiations on prices.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Director of Customer Services, Douglas Hendry, explained why efficient procurement processes are important in terms of the council’s service delivery. He said: “We are always conscious of the need to get the very best value for the public purse. We need to make sure that we make the right decisions when we look for the resources and supplies we need in order to deliver key services to people in our community. Having an efficient and effective team in place, who have that ‘best value’ approach built in to everything they do, plays a big part in getting it right.
“The fact that Argyll and Bute Council’s Procurement team has been nationally recognised again and shortlisted for another award is testament to this. Everyone at the council is very proud of the team and the part they play in making sure we are able to deliver the best services we can. I wish them every success at the GO awards.”
The award winners will be announced by GO Scotland in Glasgow on 21st October.