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What 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.

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