Last edited 03 Sep 2021

Reserved contract


[edit] Introduction

The Single Procurement Document (Scotland) - also referred to as SPD (Scotland) - is a document that contains questions used at the selection stage for post-Brexit procurement exercises in Scotland to identify suitably qualified and experienced bidders.

The Supplier Journey portion of the Scottish Government’s procurement guidance website offers an overview of the different types of procurement processes that are available under SPD (Scotland). One such type of process is a reserved contract.

[edit] Definition

A reserved contract allows a public sector procurement officer to “reserve” a procurement exercise so that the contract (or part of it) can only be supplied by a supported business. A supported business is ‘an organisation whose main aim is the social and professional integration of disabled and disadvantaged workers and where at least 30% of their workforce are classed as disabled or disadvantaged.’

Reserved contracts may be used by public sector entities, including:

Standard procurement rules apply to reserved contracts, which means these transactions are subject to all types of procurement legislation. If the reserved contract process is used, then this must be stated within the contract notice.

[edit] History

The ability of public bodies to restrict participation in a tender exercise to supported businesses through a reserved contract has been part of Scotland’s national procurement legislation since 2006.

In 2017, additional guidance for the reserved contract process was made available to the public in a Scottish Procurement Policy Note (SPPN) ‘Reserving contracts for supported businesses’.

Reserved contracts are part of SPD (Scotland), which replaced the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) on 31 December 2020.

[edit] Pursuing parameters

The Government has encouraged public bodies to use the reserved contracts process when conditions justify it. Buyers have been prompted to become familiar with the goods and services provided by supported businesses and consider them when planning a procurement exercise.

Some of the goods and services that may be suitable for reserved contracts from supported businesses include:

For additional information, see Commodities reserved for supported businesses: framework guidance.

Public bodies can find information about additional goods and services on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). When buyers enter the commodity they wish to purchase, the portal will highlight supported businesses which could potentially meet the requirements for a reserved contract.

[edit] Sustainable procurement considerations

Public bodies have been encouraged by the Scottish Government to monitor how they have included supported businesses in their procurement activities. This process will help them verify their compliance with the sustainable procurement duty and annual reporting requirements established in The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

Under the 2014 Act, public bodies with an annual procurement budget equal to or greater than £5 million are required to publish an annual procurement report. One of the mandatory elements to be included in the report is "a summary of any steps taken to facilitate the involvement of supported businesses in regulated procurements during the year covered by the report".

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[edit] External resources

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