Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:30 pm on 8th March 2007.

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Photo of Patricia Ferguson Patricia Ferguson Labour 4:30 pm, 8th March 2007

A representative of Aberdeen City Council attended the event last weekend and I was pleased and heartened to hear the contribution that it makes. That council has arranged to share its ideas and practices with other local authorities. That mutual coming together and sharing of experience will help.

At the summit, we briefly discussed procurement, which many members have touched on. We have issued guidance to local authorities and others about what can be done under the current procurement regime. However, I have asked our officials to look again at whether scope for improvement exists and whether a further chance exists to push the opportunities that we have while of course operating within the law. The issue is fairly complex, but we are looking at it in detail. I hope that we will be able to provide something that is more robust than the existing guidance and which goes further, too. That is the intention.