Introduction of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)

March 14, 2016

SDP have been working with the Scottish Government ahead of the implementation of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). The ESPD is intended by the European Commission to remove some of the barriers to participation in public procurement, especially for SMEs. It will replace the requirement for suppliers to provide up-front evidence or certificates by allowing them to self-declare that they:

• meet the relevant selection criteria
• do not fall within an exclusion clause (or, if they do, they can demonstrate that they have taken self-cleaning measures)

The ESPD will be mandatory for use by contracting authorities in Scotland from 18 April 2016 and will replace the standard pre-qualification questionnaire (SPQQ), and any other PQQs that Scottish contracting authorities are currently using. Work is currently being undertaken to map the new ESPD questions to the existing sPQQ questions, in order to minimise the impact on suppliers that have already stored information on the electronic version of the sPQQ contained within the PCS-Tender system.

As the ESPD will be generic and the same for all of the EU member States, buyers will have to set out the specific requirements and minimum standards into their contract notices. Suppliers will use the ESPD response to indicate whether or not they have complied with the minimum standards and any other requirements set out in the contract notice. When a contract is awarded, the successful bidder will the be required to provide proof that they meet these criteria.

Read more on the Scottish Government website

Do you have ideas on how to make Scottish Procurement more SME friendly?

March 4, 2016

Edinburgh Napier student Declan Walkden is asking Scottish SME’s to contribute to a Dissertation project looking into Scottish Government Procurement and how it effects SME businesses based in Scotland.

The outcome of the Dissertation is hoping to propose new ways in which Scottish Procurement can be more SME friendly. The Survey takes a total of 8 minutes to complete and is made to be completely anonymous. The information received from this survey will not be sold to any third parties and will only be used for this dissertation. Please complete by 17th March at 11.55am.

Follow the link to complete the survey:

If anyone has any questions regarding the aims of the survey or dissertation please contact Declan by email at

How to sell digital outcomes, specialists and user research services to government on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework.

January 14, 2016

Public sector organisations, including agencies and arm’s length bodies, use the Digital Marketplace to find cloud-based services, specialists who can work on digital projects and physical data centre space. If you want to supply any of these things to government, you need to apply to be on the relevant framework.

Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework

The public sector can use the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework on the Digital Marketplace to find digital specialists to help them deliver a digital project.

Digital Outcomes and Specialists services include:

  • a digital outcome, e.g. a beta of an NHS appointment booking system
  • digital specialists, e.g. a product manager or developers
  • user research studios
  • user research participants

If you want to sell these services on the Digital Marketplace, you need to apply to Digital Outcomes and Specialists and provide your service details.  The latest contract notice has been issued via the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and suppliers until 19th January 2016 to respond. You can view the notice here.

Digital Outcomes and Specialists is open to suppliers of all sizes. Previously, smaller suppliers may have found it difficult to invest time and resources in the lengthy application process. The simplified application process creates a fairer and more competitive marketplace.

Subcontracting and consortia

Suppliers can work with each other by subcontracting or forming consortia. The supplier guidance and legal documentation includes:

  • the call-off and framework agreement, which cover information on subcontracting
  • the Invitation to Tender (ITT), which provides guidance on forming consortia

The Digital Outcomes and Specialists supplier guide contains all the information about who can apply, and how to apply.

Suppliers should however note that on average a contract notice will be issued every 6 to 9 months and so if you miss this opportunity you can prepare for the next occasion.

New changes to the value of contracts required to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Journal (OJEU).

January 5, 2016

The European Commission has announced the new thresholds for European procurement for the period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. Public contracts with an estimated value exceeding these thresholds must, in principle, follow the European procurement process according to the applicable regulations.

Procurement regulations set out the rules by which public bodies must abide when carrying out the process of advertising contracts; the EU Thresholds indicate the value for the tendering of goods, works or services which must be advertised through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

The threshold amounts are adjusted every two years based on the average daily value of the Euro and they show a decrease from the previous period. For example, a Local Authority contract for a service or the supply of goods had to be over the value £172,514 to be advertised in OJEU, the new Thresholds means it will require to be advertised in the OJEU over the value of £164,176.  The amounts are exclusive of VAT and make a distinction between central and local authorities.

But help is on hand for Scottish SMe’s– why not attend the Supplier Development Programme’s free workshops and webinars providing you with support on how to tender and bid better.

The new thresholds apply to all public contracting authorities, this includes central government departments, their executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies, and the wider public sector ( such as local authorities,  the NHS, Emergency Services as well as Housing Associations to name a few).

 Read the Scottish Procurement Policy Note including details of the EU Threshold values.


May 29, 2015

Updated information will be available shortly. If you have any questions regarding this please contact us by email at

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