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General Queries

Show or Hide answerWhat is Procurement?

Procurement is the full range of activities related to purchasing goods, services and works. The procurement programme will address the way in which we do our ‘’buying’’ – i.e. how we purchase goods, services, works and how you manage contracts. We will look at our procurement process to ensure that we are always achieving Best Value For Money.

Value for Money does not mean the cheapest price – it requires us to achieve

  • The Right Quantity
  • At the Right Quality
  • For the Right Cost
  • At the Right Time
  • To the Right Place
  • From the Right Source


The key objectives of the procurement programme are to deliver improved procurement practice across all areas – simply put this means that we will have to improve the way we ‘buy’ things - this covers EVERYTHING from a ‘nail to a new school.’

Show or Hide answerWhat role does Tayside Contract have in TPC?

Tayside Contracts collaborate with the TPC in a number of contracts including groceries, cleaning materials, vehicles, PPE and other areas of spend where there is a common requirement. Tayside Contracts are the commercial trading arm of the 3 Tayside Councils and as such are part of the Councils. Tayside Contracts provides Roads Maintenance, Catering, Cleaning, Vehicle Maintenance and Winter Maintenance to the Councils in the Tayside area. There may be sub contract opportunities in some of these service areas which Tayside Contracts can be contacted directly about if required.

Show or Hide answerWhat do we mean by “Commodities”?

'Commodities' is the term used by procurement specialists to describe different groups of goods and services which Councils and other businesses require to buy. By way of example some of the commodities which the TPC is currently looking at for collaborative buying opportunities include:-

  • ICT Hardware and Software
  • Telecommunications
  • Vehicles
  • Construction
  • Mail Services
  • Educational equipment and supplies 
Show or Hide answerWhat is the significance of putting Commodities into “Categories”?

This is really down to the McClelland Report. He recommended that commodities should be put into groups (categories) and procured in specific ways. McClelland envisaged the following categories:-

  • Category A – National Procurement – McClelland envisaged a small number of high value commodities being subject to Scotland-wide contracts negotiated by the Scottish Government and which all public sector bodies in Scotland would use on a “call-off” basis to buy goods and services.
  • Category B – Regional or Sectoral Procurement – this would cover those commodities which were inappropriate to be procured through national contracts but would benefit from collaboration on either a Regional or Sectoral level. For example it may be appropriate for all NHS bodies to come together to buy specialist medical equipment which is specific to their sector of the economy.
  • Category C – Local Commodity Procurement – these commodities would be those best sourced locally by Councils individually or through smaller scale collaborations such the TPC.

Although the categorisation of commodities is now largely agreed there are many obstacles to overcome to make McClelland’s vision a reality and until Category A & B contracts start to become available the TPC will be looking at all commodities to see if there are benefits from collaboration without getting into long term local contracts.

Show or Hide answerWhat benefits will be achieved?

By uniting the procurement activities of all three Councils and driving continuous improvement, significant savings will be generated. Key activities will include establishing well-negotiated contracts that meet users’ needs and ensuring that these contracts are uniformly applied across all Councils. As a result, all Councils will benefit from best practice and will maximise efficiency savings through their combined buying power.

Show or Hide answerHow will a TPC approach result in a more efficient process?

Through TPC doing it 'once' as opposed to it being done three times by each Council, it should result result in greater efficiencies for the Councils from economy of scale, whilst at the same time, reducing costs to the suppliers from reducing the number of times they have to bid for business.

Show or Hide answerWhat is Electronic Procurement Scotland (ePS)?

ePS is the name given to the system which most Councils have adopted to allow them to order goods and services by electronic means; however DCC are using Authority Financials. ePS was commissioned by the Scottish Government and has been developed by CapGemini in conjunction with other partners. Both systems are web based and thus can be accessed from any PC with internet access. It is already in use in over 60 public sector organisations in Scotland including a growing number of Councils.



Show or Hide answerWhat is eProcurement?

This is the electronic process by which goods and services will be purchased. This is the process that will enable orders to be placed electronically with suppliers following approval – similar to online shopping.

Show or Hide answerWhat is Procurement Scotland?

Procurement Scotland is tasked with developing and implementing procurement strategies for national Category A commodities on behalf of all Scottish public bodies. It has been established in response to the McClelland's ' Review of Public Sector Procurement in Scotland' report, which views national and sectoral Centres of Expertise as the major vehicle for driving collaborative, advanced procurement in the public sector.

Show or Hide answerWhat is Scotland Excel?

Scotland Excel is being led by Renfrewshire Council and has taken over the Authorities Buying Consortium (abc). Scotland Excel is expected to be the main vehicle for Category B commodity procurement for the local government sector. Scotland Excel may however also have a role in assisting the Scottish Government to develop national contracts for Category A commodities. Scotland Excel has 4 centres of excellence across Scotland through what are termed Regional Hubs.

Show or Hide answerWhat is the McClelland Report?

This is the report by John McClelland OBE which was commissioned by the then Scottish Government in 2005. McClelland’s report was published in March 2006 and made wide ranging recommendations regarding the future of public sector procurement in Scotland. Collaborative procurement through the TPC, the implementation of an electronic procurement system and the creation of a corporate procurement team all stem from the recommendations made by McClelland.