Route to Market Published for Goods and Services provided by Supported Businesses
Scottish Government has launched a new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for the Scottish public sector and third sector bodies to procure a range of goods and services provided by supported businesses.
The Provision of Requirements Reserved for Supported Businesses DPS helps public sector and third sector bodies buy goods and services from suppliers whose workforce are made up of at least 30% disabled or disadvantaged people.
The change aims to help public sector buyers find supported business suppliers more easily, and to simplify the procurement process. It comes as part of Scottish Procurement’s continued commitment to sustainability and community wealth building.
The DPS replaces the Scottish Government Framework for Commodities Reserved for Supported Businesses, which expired in July 2023. The new DPS is now live and will last until 8 September 2025, with an estimated value of £6m.
Working on a single Lot basis, the DPS will hold a wide range of goods and services, including IT services, printed materials, garments, food-serving and social work, to name but a few. The full list of applicable goods and services, along with guidance on applying for the DPS, can be found in the Public Contracts Scotland contract notice.
The notice lists these goods and services by their Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) code, so if you are unsure what they refer to, you can double check with this free CPV code search tool.
Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) Explained
A DPS is a competitive procurement procedure that works on a two-stage process. It allows you to apply to join at any time of its duration, even if your previous bid was unsuccessful. A DPS is designed to give buyers a bank of prequalified suppliers, from which they can choose.
How to join the Supported Business DPS
As the name suggests, this DPS is only open to applications from supported businesses. Scottish legislation qualifies a supported business as one in which both ‘the social and professional integration of disabled and disadvantaged persons is a main aim’ and ‘30% of the employees are disabled or disadvantaged’.
The notice advises that bidders should complete the Single Procurement Document (SPD) on the PCS Tender site, which can be found by searching ‘Project Code: 24782’.
Applicants will also have to confirm that they meet the reserved contract criteria, described as the ‘two-part test’ introduced by European Directive 2014/24/EU and given effect in Scotland through the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, Section 2, Regulation 21.
Once the SPD is complete and submitted, within 10 working days you will be notified if you have successfully joined the DPS.
If through to the next stage, you will be given an Invitation to Tender (ITT) either on PCS or PCST. Following this, the buyer is under no obligation to undertake a standstill period.
Benefits of joining the DPS
While the thought of joining a DPS might seem daunting, it is a great way of getting your business in front of public sector buyers. This is especially true for the Provision of Requirements Reserved for Supported Businesses DPS, which covers such a wide range of sectors, so is bound to be frequently used.
What’s more, while you are listed on the DPS, you can apply for additional lots throughout its duration, meaning the opportunities grow alongside your business.
The process is completely electronic, so your team will not be burdened with the admin of submitting paper documents.
As well as this, responses to simple procurements can be expected in as little as 10 days, making it much faster than traditional procurements, which can span months.
SDP DPS Training
If you’re considering joining the DPS for the Provision of Requirements Reserved for Supported Businesses, then it’s worthwhile attending The Supplier Development Programme webinar Frameworks and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS). This training is free to all SMEs registered with the Supplier Development Programme (SDP).
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