Fife Means Business: How to Engage with Fife Council and Explore Community Benefits
Fife Council is participating in a Twitter Takeover of the SDP Scotland account today, 2 June, from 10:00am to 11:00am, as part of SDP's Meet the Buyer 2020: Live Virtual Event. This blog outlines information on engagement with Fife Council, including community benefits. Suppliers are encouraged to follow the #MeetTheBuyer2020 hashtag on Twitter and ask real time questions to the Economic Development and Procurement Teams at Fife Council.
As the third largest local authority in Scotland, with a third party works, goods and services spend of around £490 million each year, Fife Council is responsible for delivering all local government services in the Kingdom. The Council delivers a range of services that make a real difference to the people of Fife and help to achieve our vision of a confident, ambitious and caring Fife that is a great place to live, work, visit and invest.
The Council must realise opportunities for Fife by investing in growing its economy, building stronger communities and reducing the inequalities that prevent individuals, families and communities from reaching their full potential.
Meeting the Sustainable Procurement Duty and Boosting Economic Development with the Supplier Development Programme
As a registered partner of the Supplier Development Programme, Fife Council is committed to providing support to the local business community in the tendering process, ultimately supporting the economic growth for the area.
Fife Council’s Supplier Development Programme provides support to Fife businesses in three main ways, by:
- Raising awareness of the opportunities for SME’s from the public sector.
- Increasing business readiness to tender.
- Assisting SMEs and supported businesses in accessing tender opportunities.
Successful partnership working was demonstrated when, with support from Business Gateway Fife’s Expert Help Programme, staff at Adamsons Drinks accessed free tender training through SDP Scotland in 2018 and 2019, and won its first ever contract: a place on a Scotland Excel framework, in April 2020. You can read the Adamsons Drinks case study.
Part of Scottish procurement is that public bodies must choose suppliers to fulfil contracts that give the best value, and not necessarily the lowest price. The Fife Council Community Benefits Guide provides information for suppliers on Community Benefit clauses within contracts that require suppliers to commit to undertaking some form of social impact as part of winning a contract. One example of how community benefits were delivered is when a new lighting contract for Fife Council meant delivery was made on wooden pallets, the Procurement Team engaged with Economic Development on an innovative solution to avoid the pallets going to landfill. You can also read the Pallets by Design case study.
Future Opportunities: Managing Expectations
In terms of future opportunities, all public sector buyers - including Fife Council - need to be careful about managing expectations, particularly in the context of construction work. As projects are allowed to recommence in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, they will need to be re-programmed as social distancing requirements will inevitably mean work will take longer to complete which has a knock-on effect for other jobs. Fife Council is committed to working with suppliers during and after the COVID-19 crisis, which is outlined in the Supplier Relief section of the website.
Top Tips for Engaging with Fife Council
Fife Council is participating in a Twitter Takeover of the SDP Scotland account as part of SDP's Meet the Buyer 2020: Live Virtual Event. You are encouraged to follow the #MeetTheBuyer2020 hashtag on Twitter and ask real time questions to the Economic Development and Procurement Teams at Fife Council between 10:00am and 11:00am today, 2 June 2020.
The Supplier Development Programme offers free webinar training on Understanding Community Benefits and Sustainability, which is available to SMEs and supported businesses in Scotland. Fife Council will also host the first ever SDP Bidding Masterclass, in line with Government advice, during the appropriate phase in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. A new date will be announced in due course.
You are also welcome to email SDP Scotland with any other questions or to request further information.
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