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Scottish Executive Procurement Policy

Finance and Public Services and Communities – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 16th September 2004.

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Photo of Eleanor Scott Eleanor Scott Green 2:00 pm, 16th September 2004

To ask the Scottish Executive what measures in its procurement policy will contribute to a sustainable Scotland. (S2O-3257)

Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour

The Scottish Executive's procurement policy is contributing positively to a sustainable Scotland. The Executive has published a considerable amount of guidance and information for both purchasers and suppliers, which underlines the important role that procurement must play in delivering a sustainable Scotland. The guidance that is available from the Executive's website requires that procurement processes take full account of relevant sustainable development objectives and policies, such as the requirement for suppliers, where relevant to the contract, to have in place environmental management policies and systems. In May this year, the Executive published guidance on integrating sustainable development into public procurement in food and catering services.

Photo of Eleanor Scott Eleanor Scott Green

The minister may be interested to know that the newly formed cross-party group on food will consider the issue of procurement at its inaugural meeting on 6 October. I believe that an invitation to the minister will be forthcoming. In advance of that meeting, it might be interesting for us to know how far we have progressed towards having Scottish-produced food, especially organic food, served in our institutions, in particular our schools and hospitals.

Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour

That seems like an invitation that my dietary habits would probably accept fully.

At one of our procurement conferences, I had the pleasure of launching advice and guidance to Scottish suppliers that will benefit not just the sectors to which the member refers, but Scottish business in its totality. Environmentally friendly and sustainable sources were included in that guidance. We are doing our bit and have issued information on food procurement, but I am sure that we can and will try to do better. I look forward to seeing the work of the cross-party group on food.