I spent a good chunk of time in November and December helping some housing associations with procurement reviews; really interesting bits of work with some great people. To a large extent, we were commissioned for good old fashioned ‘compliance’ reasons: in April 2016, the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 became law, which changed how all Registered Social Landlords have to procure.
The Act included new rules for lower-value contracts, duties on the publication of contract notices on Public Contracts Scotland, and various obligations relating to procurement strategies, sustainable procurement and community benefits.
So a number of housing associations got us in to look at their procurement policies and practices, and help them unravel and understand what their new obligations are. But what was more interesting was that, where our clients were operating under the contract value thresholds, they wanted to find a way to strike the right balance between following best practice, securing value for money while also ensuring the local economy was supported by maintaining the long-standing relationships that had been developed with suppliers.
Our job is to help our clients make these kind of decisions. Over the past few months, I’m delighted to have supported Almond, Glen and Ayrshire Housing amongst others, providing guidance, critical reviews, revised procurement documentation and toolkits, to help these organisations be procurement ready.
Further details on the work that MainStreet Consulting has been doing can be seen here. In the meantime, if you feel you may currently be in this position and need help to ensure you are compliant, please do not hesitate to contact us.