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Guest Blog: Insight into Scottish Procurement Thresholds & SPPN 8/2021


Kenny Govan, Senior Procurement Officer at Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), wrote a guest blog for the Supplier Development Programme for the month of December 2021.

The Scottish Government will from time to time publish what are known as Scottish Procurement Policy Notes (SPPNs) and these, by in large, are targeted at public sector buyers to advise of changes or clarifications to existing procurement law. The Scottish Government has now published SPPN number 8 of the 2021 calendar year which provides details of the changes to monetary thresholds which affect where and how a contract is advertised and how complex the procurement process may be.

Prior to the UK leaving the EU, the decision on these thresholds was made every two years by the UK Government and by in large was influenced by exchange rates between the Pound (£) and the Euro (€). Now that the UK has left the EU, the decision on monetary thresholds has been placed in the hands of the devolved administrations. The Scottish Government has made some significant alterations to these which will come into effect for all tenders advertised from 1 January 2022 onwards.

There are no changes to the value where a procurement becomes “Regulated” and Scots Law applies in full for values over £50,000 (Supplies and Services) and £2m (Works). Beneath these values, there is no obligation on a public body to advertise any tender opportunity and their own internal governance (Standing Orders) will dictate the process to be observed.

The main alterations are as follows:

  • For most public bodies who aren't directly aligned to Central Government including all Local Councils, the threshold for "Higher Regulated" value Supply and Service tenders where a Single Procurement Document (SPD) must be included and a 10-day Standstill Period must be observed prior to award has been lowered from £189,330 to £177,897 ex vat.
  • For public bodies that are aligned to the Central Government such as the Police and Fire and Services, the threshold has been lowered from £122,976 ex vat to £115,633 ex vat.
  • For Works Contracts across all public bodies this threshold has been lowered from £4,733,252 to £4,447,447 ex vat.
  • The threshold where a tender is advertised UK-wide and not just in Scotland starts at the new lower figure, which will increase competition nationally.

It should be noted that the methodology for calculating the estimated value of a contract is also unchanged, and should be taken as the value of all commodities purchased under the contract for its entire duration for the organisation as a whole and not any single part of it.

Helping You Bid Better

The Supplier Development Programme has several free online webinars which can help Scottish based SMEs and supported businesses understand and use procurement regulations and how they apply to the bidding process. Scottish suppliers are encouraged to access the free support available from SDP by self-selecting a tender training course. In particular, Passing the Selection Stage – The Single Procurement Document (SPD) may be of interest to learn more about Scottish Procurement Policy Notes and how they may impact upon procurement in the public sector.

If you are a Scottish SME or supported business, you can login and view contact details for Kenny Govan at Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

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