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Lewis Macdonald (Labour) | Question S3W-39589
To ask the Scottish Executive what public contracts have been awarded to supported employment providers under Article 19 of the European Union Procurement Directive, broken down by (a) awarding body and (b) date.
John Swinney (Scottish National Party)
The government does not currently hold information on public sector contracts with supported businesses or contracts awarded under Article 19.
Analysis of procurement spend data for 2008-09 shows that the public sector spent £26.4 million with 23 of the 24 Scotland based Supported Businesses in that year. The Scottish Government currently uses Capability St Judes to provide laundry services to Marine Scotland in Aberdeen. Our design and print contractor has supported businesses in their roster of sub-contractors. At January 2011, we are aware of three other reserved contracts put in place by other Scottish public sector organisations:
Highlands and Islands Council – CCTV Services
North Lanarkshire Council – Bunk Beds
The State Hospital Carstairs – Curtains.
The Public Procurement Reform Programme is taking steps to encourage public sector buyers to place contracts with supported businesses when appropriate. For example:
The British Association of Supported Employment (BASE), in partnership with the Scottish Government, published a brochure Supported Businesses in Scotland, which provides guidance to buyers on the use of Article 19 (which allows public buyers to reserve participation in tendering for contracts to Supported Businesses) and has details of the 24 Supported Businesses based in Scotland along with the products and services they can provide.
Supported Businesses exhibited at the National Procurement Conference held at the SECC in October 2010
We are working collaboratively with supported business. So far this year, two meetings have been held to identify the needs of Scottish supported businesses and explore what more government could do.
We have added a new facility to Public Contracts Scotland which automatically alerts buyers when a supported business can fulfil the requirements of their planned contract, and offers them the facility to reserve the contract under Article 19. This facility will also capture information on the number of contracts being awarded to third sector organisations and supported businesses in future.