Argyll and Bute Council launches new procurement strategy to support transformational change and innovation

Published Date: 

6 Feb 2017 - 16:01
Argyll and Bute Council has launched its new procurement strategy which will guide the way it buys goods and services over the next year, supporting change and innovation as the council continues with its ambitious transformation agenda. Councillor Dick Walsh, Policy Lead for Customer Services, said: “The new strategy puts people in Argyll and Bute first – they are at the heart of what we do. This is a time of unprecedented challenge for local government finances. As we move forward effective procurement will become even more important, making sure we can get the very best value for the goods and services we buy in so that we can continue to support the services our communities have told us matter most to them. “The document covers the rest of this financial year and the next one – thereafter we will be updating it annually, with feedback from our customers being crucial to that process. “Our procurement team has and continues to save the council money wherever possible, money that can then be used for frontline services. Take vehicles as an example – by getting better financial agreements on our vehicles and plant we save money which can be used in other areas, like our environmental warden service, our school support and to keep public conveniences open. “The team also works hard to support the local economy, awarding over a third of council contracts to local businesses last year, amounting to 67 individual contract awards, and there are now over 100 businesses on our supplier development programme. Established in 2013, this bespoke supplier support service offers a range of free tender training workshops which help those interested in bidding for any kind of public contract, not just council ones. “The new strategy seeks to build on this good work – just because you do something well doesn’t mean you can’t do it better. The team will continue to develop its support for local businesses and small and medium sized businesses by streamlining their processes as far as possible, and making them more accessible to minority groups. “A contracts register has also been developed and is available on our Buyer Profile on Public Contracts Scotland. This shows our current contracts and is another way of helping businesses prepare to make bids for council contracts that are coming to an end. “We will continue to have community benefit clauses in large contracts, wherever possible, which require the contractor to offer sub-contracting opportunities to local businesses and provide training opportunities to local young people. ‘’Our main focus is on boosting the local economy and procurement is a key arm in our wider growth strategy.” The new document sets out the council’s procurement vision – to provide best value; to embed commercial excellence; to be recognised as having sector leading practices and to have the residents of the council area at the heart of the process. The strategy is available to view at: https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/council-and-government/plans-policies-and... The register of council contracts is available at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/business-and-trade/find-tender ENDS