Calls grow for a Procurement Ombudsman

A leading construction body has urged the Scottish Government to appoint a Procurement Ombudsman.

The move comes as the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill passed through the Scottish Parliament.
Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group Scotland believes a Procurement Ombudsman will help deliver the main policy aims of the Bill including; obtaining best value from public procurement; facilitating SME access to public procurement; and improving the economic, social and environmental well-being of local communities.
SEC Group Scotland’s Chairman, Eddie Myles, said, “This Bill is about improving public sector procurement practices but unfortunately large swathes of it do not have any compliance or enforcement mechanism.”
SEC Group Scotland hope to persuade the Scottish Government a Procurement Ombudsman for Scotland is in the interest of both the taxpayer and the business community.
Reaction to the passing of the Bill has been largely welcomed by the industry.
Ken Gillespie, Scottish Contractors Group Chair said, “The Bill will provide an improved and more consistent framework for public procurement, and more certainty for contractors on future projects.”
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the Scottish Government will implement the recommendations of the review of procurement in construction, published last October
RIAS President, Iain Connelly, said, “This is among the most positive announcements this government has made on construction procurement. We are delighted with the level of engagement and look forward to a much fairer procurement landscape.”
Alastair Wallace, Chair of Construction Scotland’s Procurement Working Group said, “Influencing the direction of procurement within the construction industry is high on (our) agenda and we were happy to see the Scottish Government announcing the majority of the recommendations contained within the Review accepted as the way forward.
“We are particularly keen to help steer the industry to focus on the strategic issues associated with achieving change in this area.”