Public Procurement Contracts (Small and Micro Businesses)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th May 2013.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I welcome Alison Johnstone’s support on the issue and I reassure her that a key objective of our procurement reform agenda is increased access to opportunities for Scottish businesses, in particular for small, medium-sized and micro businesses.

In my answer I quoted some statistics from the PCS service, but let me also give some statistics from our spend data, which comes from the procurement information hub. I am also happy to provide more information in writing on this.

If we look at micro businesses, small businesses and medium-sized businesses, we see that about 46 per cent of the approximately £9 billion annual spend on public sector procurement goes to SMEs, which account for about 37 per cent of Scotland’s turnover. I am not standing here saying that we are doing well enough—particularly for micro businesses, whose share we want to increase—but our performance already compares well with the United Kingdom figure of about 25 per cent. That gives us a good base to build on; I assure Alison Johnstone that build on that is exactly what we intend to do, which is why we are taking forward such an ambitious programme of public procurement reform.