Scottish SMEs swipe three in five public sector contracts
Last year thousands of IT deals were awarded to small local players, newly published figures indicate
Credit: Franz-Peter Tschauner/DPA/PA Images
Scottish SMEs are winning three out of every five public-sector procurement contracts north of the border.
An annual report published by Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) reveals that, of the 22,737 deals awarded in the 2017/18 year, 13,585 of these were given to companies with fewer than 250 employees and a registered Scottish address. This equates to 59.7% of the total, with a further 18.5% going to SMEs from outside the country.
This means that about four in five – 78.2% – of all Scottish contracts awarded through PCS last year were won by small firms.
When measured by revenue, SMEs account for about half of all spending. Smaller firms based in Scotland swiped about 32% of the £11.6bn spent during the 2016/17 year, PCS said.
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About one in seven deals advertised and awarded through the service relate to ICT, the spread of presently available opportunities indicates. A total of 3,897 contracts are currently being advertised on the site, of which 566 are ICT deals.
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The implementation of the Procurement Reform Scotland Act two years ago required public sector organisations to take action to make sure their procurement practices were open to SMEs. And the steps we have implemented are having a positive impact, as demonstrated by the welcome increase in public sector contracts being awarded to small businesses.”
Public Contracts Scotland was set up by the Scottish Government in 2008. All public-sector entities in Scotland are required to publish contract notices on the site for any deals for goods and services worth more than £50,000, and any works projects exceeding £2m.
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