Transport Scotland made four procurement commitments in section six of the Transport Scotland Corporate Procurement Strategy 2021-2022. The four commitments are:
- undertake Transport Scotland procurements in a sustainable manner
- ensure Transport Scotland procurements comply with relevant national legislation and internal policy and governance procedures
- add value through Transport Scotland procurements and promote collaborative procurement opportunities where appropriate to ensure Transport Scotland contracts represent value for money
- maintain a high standard of procurement capability across Transport Scotland through the implementation of best practice and continuous improvement.
These commitments were sub-divided into 28 delivery sub-actions. Comment on Transport Scotland’s compliance with each of the 28 delivery sub-actions is provided below:
Commitment 1: undertake Transport Scotland procurements in a sustainable manner
Delivery sub-action 1.1
Ensure compliance with the sustainable procurement duty, such that Transport Scotland contracts are procured and managed in an economic, social and environmentally friendly manner, including the consideration of means of transporting materials.
Compliance: it is mandatory for all regulated procurements within Transport Scotland to have a procurement strategy that has been approved by the Director of Purchasing and/or the Depute Director of Purchasing. The procurement strategy records economic, social and environmental requirements and relevant issues, such as sustainability criteria, that should be considered for each procurement.
The preparatory advance works contract for the A9 Dualling Tomatin to Moy project gives an example of where enhanced active travel routes were provided for the community. The scope for the advance works contract included mitigation measures which were included in the Environmental Statement for the dualling project. An existing footbridge was replaced as part of these advance works, a route primarily used by school children to access school buses, in addition to upgraded footpaths and new bus stops. An ecological pond was also created as part of the Lynebeg rail underbridge replacement, supporting a rare sub-species of Caddisfly and providing important ecological mitigation.
The Trunk Road Network Management Contracts provides another example of where Transport Scotland included commitments to reduce carbon and waste and enhance the environment. Each contract has an Environmental and Sustainability Manager who provides expert advice and support on any matters associated with the design, operation or maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network that have environmental impact implications.
The contracts require each Operating Company (OC) to increase the number of ultra-low emission vehicles in their fleet, with a commitment that by 2025 each OC will ensure at least fifty per cent of their car and van fleet will be ultra-low emission vehicles. The contracts also require that each OC installs electric vehicle charge points at central offices and depots, along with dedicated electric vehicle charging parking spaces and signage to support the operation of OC ultra-low emission vehicles. This will help to lower carbon emissions on the Trunk Road Network as each OC perform their obligations. The OCs are required to develop an environmental policy and identify environmental objectives, targets, programmes, training and communication requirements for operational control and emergency response.
Delivery sub-action 1.2
Utilise the Scottish Government’s suite of sustainability tools for all regulated procurements.
Compliance: the Scottish Government sustainability test is considered in the procurement strategy for each regulated procurement to help relevant and proportionate sustainability requirements in the development of frameworks and contracts.
This requires project managers to provide details of the social, economic and environmental elements of the proposed procurement that will be addressed by developing a suitable specification and evaluation criteria. During this reporting period, we ran bitesize training courses on the use of the online sustainability test to promote the use and understanding of this tool.
Delivery sub-action 1.3
Deliver community benefits through Transport Scotland’s procurement activity and seek opportunities to enhance the scope of these benefits.
Compliance: community benefits are considered in the procurement strategy for all regulated procurements. Community benefits are also reviewed as part of the lessons learned process.
Transport Scotland has continued to review and update internal guidance to assist project managers when assessing the potential to include community benefits into their procurements. The guidance provides draft text and guidance for consideration in tenders and contracts of varying values. Training has been provided to our staff to highlight the importance of best practice in this area.
During the reporting period, the Transport Scotland Procurement Team has engaged with other public sector procurement bodies to ensure that we continue to demonstrate best practice in our promotion of community benefits through our procurements and contracts. For example, community benefits requirements were included in the Framework Agreement for Maritime Consultancy Services, which was tendered in the period. Suppliers committed to deliver training and employment opportunities, identifying opportunities to work with the third sector and supported businesses as well as volunteer days for staff members throughout the duration of the framework. Appendix B contains examples of community benefits delivered through Transport Scotland contracts during the reporting period.
Delivery sub-action 1.4
Ensure that opportunities for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to tender for Transport Scotland contracts and to tender for sub-contracts via main suppliers are maximised.
Compliance: Transport Scotland uses the Quick Quote system on the Public Contracts Scotland website to advertise our non-regulated procurements, which ensures that tender opportunities are made available to SMEs when required.
Opportunities for SMEs are considered in the procurement strategy for all procurements. This includes consideration being given to procuring the contract in lots to facilitate opportunities for SMEs to bid. Commitments are made in the procurement strategy for each procurement to ensure subcontracting opportunities are advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland website.
Transport Scotland exhibited at the virtual Meet the Buyer events in June 2021 and September 2021 to engage with SMEs. This provided the opportunity to highlight forthcoming Transport Scotland contracts and discuss how SMEs could participate.
A total of 8% of our procurement spend (£135.7 million) was spent on direct contracts with SMEs during the reporting period.
Delivery sub-action 1.5
Promote and seek to increase opportunities for supported businesses to tender for Transport Scotland contracts and to tender for sub-contracts resulting from our main contracts.
Compliance: during the reporting period Transport Scotland:
- continued to source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Haven Products
- ensured that Procurement Strategies consider whether any element of the contract could be provided by a supported business
- held training sessions for staff and senior managers to promote awareness of community benefits and supported businesses.
Transport Scotland’s suppliers continue to use supported businesses and social enterprises where possible. Contracts and orders with a value in excess of £430,000 were placed with supported businesses and social enterprises during this reporting period.
Delivery sub-action 1.6
Promote and seek to increase opportunities for the third sector to tender for Transport Scotland contracts and to tender for sub-contracts resulting from our main contracts.
Compliance: consideration is given in each procurement strategy to the suitability of procuring using supported businesses and social enterprises.
Transport Scotland exhibited at the virtual Meet the Buyer events in June 2021 and in September 2021 where opportunities for the third sector were highlighted.
Delivery sub-action 1.7
Ensure that Transport Scotland’s procurement activity promotes Fair Work First, including the use of the Living Wage, and the modern slavery act, and the procurement of fair and ethically traded goods and services.
Compliance: Transport Scotland has appointed a Fair Work Champion, who is responsible for providing support and guidance on this area of procurement to colleagues around the organisation.
A training course on Fair Work First has been developed and delivered, ensuring that staff are kept up to date with the Scottish Government’s guidance on Fair Work First, including Scottish Procurement Policy Note (SPPN) 6/2021, and understand how this should be incorporated into procurements and contracts.
Fair Work First is considered within the procurement strategy for all regulated procurements, and Fair Work questions are included in the tender documents for all procurement processes, where relevant and proportionate to do so. This requires suppliers to provide details which demonstrate their approach to fair work, ensuring our suppliers adhere to relevant legal obligations, including workplace standards and labour laws.
Delivery sub-action 1.8
Review and update the procurement page of the Transport Scotland website on a quarterly basis to ensure key information is visible to suppliers.
Compliance: the procurement pages of the Transport Scotland website are routinely reviewed and updated when required.
The pages explain how Transport Scotland does business and how suppliers can become involved in Transport Scotland procurements.
Delivery sub-action 1.9
Ensure that Transport Scotland’s procurement activity contributes to the Scottish Government’s commitment to a just transition to a net zero society, through the incorporation of SPPN 1/2021 Taking Account of Climate and Circular Economy Considerations in Public Procurement, as well as other relevant guidance.
Compliance: Transport Scotland has collaborated with Scottish Government procurement colleagues in development of guidance for staff purchasing within primary impact areas for climate change.
The Scottish Government's procurement climate literacy training is now mandatory for all Transport Scotland staff who are involved in procurement.
Transport Scotland's Procurement and Contracts Teams have engaged regularly with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to ensure that we are procuring in line with current best practice.
The climate and the circular economy is considered within the procurement strategy for all regulated procurements, and provisions are included in tender documents where it is relevant and proportionate to do so. This requires suppliers to provide details that demonstrate their approach to climate and circular economy considerations during delivery of the future contract.
One example of this was the procurement undertaken in 2021 for a new ChargePlace Scotland operator which supports Scotland’s reduction of transport related emissions through maintaining a network of public charge points for electric vehicles.
Commitment 2: ensure Transport Scotland procurements comply with relevant legislation and internal policy and governance procedures
Delivery sub-action 2.1
Utilise and develop model contract documents for works, goods and services and ensure that documents are compliant with relevant legislation and policy.
Compliance: bespoke model contract documents for highly specialist goods, services and works are subject to on-going review by Transport Scotland. They are held in centrally available templates, which are updated as practice develops and lessons learned are embedded.
For more routine needs Transport Scotland uses the Scottish Government model contract documents for selected contracts, frameworks and call-offs, such as when we called off services for Transport Scotland’s Multi-functional Devices from the Scottish Government’s Office equipment Framework in autumn 2021.
Delivery sub-action 2.2
Provide consistent procurement advice and support to Transport Scotland staff who are undertaking procurement activity and ensure that all such activity is compliant with current legislation.
Compliance: procurement advisors in the Procurement Team meet regularly to discuss live procurement issues, to ensure that consistent advice is available to all staff across the agency. Where specialist advice was required, such as that required for the creation of ScotRail Trains Limited and Scottish Rail Holdings Ltd on 31 March 2022, input from specialist legal and commercial advisors was utilised.
The Procurement Team operates a procurement query tracker which monitors the progress and outcome of all queries received. This tracker is reviewed regularly to ensure consistency of responses, and to identify training needs.
Transport Scotland has developed detailed procurement guidance, including a Procurement Toolkit which sits alongside more detailed procurement advice notes on specialised topic areas. These documents provide staff with information, guidance and templates to ensure procurements comply with legislation, Scottish Procurement Policy Notes, internal policy and governance procedures. The Procurement Toolkit is regularly revised to ensure that it remains up to date.
The Procurement Team runs ‘compliance checks’ on our regulated procurements, auditing each procurement at key stages to ensure it has been undertaken in line with our Corporate Procurement Strategy and with current legislation.
Delivery sub-action 2.3
Deliver a programme of procurement training to Transport Scotland staff to ensure that procurement activity remains compliant with current procurement legislation.
Compliance: Delegated Purchasing Authority (DPA) holders and other procurement staff are required to complete the Scottish Government Procurement Competency Framework to highlight areas where development is required.
Transport Scotland complete regular reviews of the procurement queries and lessons learned received to identify areas which would benefit from further training and guidance. A procurement training programme is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that any knowledge gaps are addressed.
As Transport Scotland has moved towards hybrid working, the procurement team have continued to host virtual training sessions with 214 attendees over 23 sessions. This included procurement subjects such as the evaluation of tenders, identifying and dealing with a conflict of interest, procurement legislation and compliance, developing an effective procurement strategy, community benefits, supported businesses, Fair Work First, the role of the DPA holder, and procurement and the climate emergency.
Delivery sub-action 2.4
Review and update Transport Scotland procurement policy and governance processes and procedures to ensure compliance with legislation.
Compliance: the following activities were completed in the reporting period:
- Transport Scotland Project Procurement Strategy template was amended during the reporting period in June 2021 and March 2022
- 7 Scottish Procurement Policy Notes and 2 Construction Policy Notes were shared with DPA holders in Transport Scotland
- One Procurement Advice Note was published on the Transport Scotland procurement intranet site
- The Director of Purchasing met with the Director of Procurement and Property from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate in November 2021. This was a routine scheduled meeting to discuss policy and legislation which may impact on procurement activity, as well as progress on Transport Scotland’s procurements.
Transport Scotland publishes a substantial amount of information in relation to our major contracts on our website and we continue to identify further information suitable for proactive publication.
Delivery sub-action 2.5
Implement Project Bank Accounts on all Transport Scotland civil engineering construction contracts of a value of £5 million and above.
Compliance: Transport Scotland implements Project Bank Accounts on all civil engineering works contracts with a value in excess of £5 million. During the reporting year we operated a total of six Project Bank Accounts on works contracts. These were:
- A737 The Den Realignment
- A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam
- A9 Berridale Braes
- A77 Maybole Bypass
- A90/A96 Haudagain Improvement
- A898 Erskine Bridge External Painting
Delivery sub-action 2.6
Review and update the procurement section of the Transport Scotland intranet to ensure that it remains an effective means of communicating policy, systems and guidance to Transport Scotland staff.
Compliance: the procurement intranet pages were reviewed and updated on a regular basis during the reporting period. The Procurement Team use the intranet to communicate policy, systems and guidance.
Transport Scotland staff use the intranet pages to access information about:
- how to contact the Procurement Team
- procurement policy and procedures
- procurement advice and support
- delegated purchasing authority
- sustainable procurement
- tender receipt and opening
- the contracts database
- contract reference numbers
- procurement feedback
Delivery sub-action 2.7
Utilise data gathered in the Contracts Database to assist with monitoring and ensuring compliance.
Compliance: the Contracts Database is used to monitor the expiry dates for contracts and call-offs. This informs the need for future procurements and their programme.
We have developed a procurement compliance check which is in use on all of our regulated procurements that are recorded on our Contracts Database. Each procurement is reviewed as it progresses through procurement and governance stages to ensure that it is being undertaken in line with our Corporate Procurement Strategy and is compliant with legislation.
Information from the Contracts Database is used to help to identify off-contract spend.
Work is underway to develop the Contracts Database by increasing the scope of the management information it holds and enhancing its reporting capability.
Commitment 3: add value through transport Scotland procurements and promote collaborative procurement opportunities where appropriate to ensure Transport Scotland contracts represent value for money
Delivery sub-action 3.1
Utilise Scottish Government and UK wide collaborative contracts to secure a range of benefits and savings, where feasible.
Compliance: Transport Scotland seeks to use existing frameworks before tendering bespoke requirements and we utilise frameworks from the Scottish Government, Crown Commercial Service (CCS), UK Department for Transport and Scotland Excel. Our expenditure on collaborative frameworks during the reporting period was over £11.08 million.
Transport Scotland saved £1.7 million by using Scottish Government collaborative frameworks during the reporting period.
Where other suitable frameworks are not available, Transport Scotland lets frameworks for our bespoke requirements, such as the Multi-Supplier Framework Agreement for Transport and Land-Use Modelling and Transport, Appraisal, and Planning and the Multiple Supplier Framework Agreement for Maritime Consultancy Services.
Delivery sub-action 3.2
Review performance of Transport Scotland frameworks prior to any re-let.
Compliance: an evaluation of current frameworks is undertaken as part of each procurement strategy for any future re-tendering exercise for frameworks. Our project managers consider whether there are other suitable routes to purchase the required services before proceeding with procuring a new framework.
Transport Scotland regularly reviews supplier performance though our structured supplier feedback process. This process supports lessons learned, enabling project managers to identify potential areas for improvement within future procurements.
Delivery sub-action 3.3
Continue to provide feedback to suppliers on a biannual basis.
Compliance: as well as regular feedback that suppliers receive from their contract managers, Transport Scotland operates a formal supplier feedback process to ensure that suppliers are receiving consistent feedback on their performance in key areas. Supplier performance on all of our contracts is provided biannually by Transport Scotland project managers. Reports are subsequently issued to suppliers to provide feedback on their performance. The supplier performance feedback can be used as a tool, by both Transport Scotland and the supplier, to enable comparison of performance across the supplier’s current contracts.
Delivery sub-action 3.4
Continue to undertake early market engagement, where appropriate.
Compliance: every new procurement has a procurement strategy that identifies the extent of market engagement that is appropriate for each procurement. This must receive the necessary approvals prior to the procurement being progressed.
Transport Scotland considers the use of Prior Information Notices (PINs) and Supplier Information Events to support early market engagement on some procurements.
During the reporting period, two PINs were published by Transport Scotland on the Public Contracts Scotland website. These were for the Multi-supplier Framework Agreement for Transport and Land-use Modelling, Transport Appraisal and Planning Services 2021-2024/5; and for Digital Travel Data Services.
Transport Scotland routinely undertakes market engagement with the supply chain including:
- Association for Consultancy and Engineering
- Civil Engineering Contractors Association
- trunk road operating companies
- train operating companies
- freight operating companies
- ferry operating companies
- software providers
Delivery sub-action 3.5
Ensure sub-contract opportunities continue to be advertised on Public Contracts Scotland, where appropriate.
Compliance: Transport Scotland utilised Public Contracts Scotland to advertise over £211 million of contract opportunities during the reporting period.
Transport Scotland requires all procurements to consider a requirement for suppliers to use PCS to advertise sub-contract opportunities in line with SPPN 05/2019. This clause is included in all of our major works and construction contracts, as well as for services contracts and framework agreements which use the Scottish Government Terms and Conditions.
Current construction works contracts in progress during the reporting period included:
- A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam
- A92/A96 Haudagain Improvement
- A898 Erskine Bridge External Painting
- A77 Maybole Bypass
- Scottish Trunk Road Network Maintenance Contracts
Delivery sub-action 3.6
Engage with suppliers to identify areas of savings, added value and innovation.
Compliance: Transport Scotland works with its supply chain to identify savings by:
- undertaking effective engagement before the commencement of the procurement process
- effective use of value engineering clauses in contracts to deliver value for money for the public purse
- effective management of our contracts to ensure compliance with the contractual terms and conditions
- use of the competitive dialogue public procurement process for major projects that allows engagement of suppliers to encourage innovation and added value input prior to the issue of tender documents. For example, as part of their commitment to ensure environmental excellence, Wills Bros, the contractor for the A77 Maybole Bypass project, ensured all waste was diverted from landfill. Any non-recoverable waste types were used in energy production through SEPA accredited routes. This ensured a 100% zero waste to landfill.
Delivery sub-action 3.7
Improve performance by keeping Transport Scotland’s senior management appraised of supplier performance biannually.
Compliance: supplier performance from our formal supplier feedback process is shared biannually with Transport Scotland senior management in advance of this information being shared with suppliers. This allows senior management to be appraised of performance results before suppliers are informed and allows them to consider if any follow-up actions are required to improve performance.
Delivery sub-action 3.8
Ensure all staff undertake Counter Fraud training and are aware of the Transport Scotland Fraud Policy and Response Plan.
Compliance: all Transport Scotland staff who engage in procurement activity undertake Counter Fraud training. An annual refresher course is mandatory for all procurement staff.
Transport Scotland’s Fraud Policy and Response Plan is reviewed and updated twice yearly and also updated following any relevant legislative changes as they occur. During the reporting period this was updated in November 2021 and March 2022.
Commitment 4: maintain a high standard of procurement capability across Transport Scotland through the implementation of best practice and continuous improvement
Delivery sub-action 4.1
Continue to update the central repository for procurement lessons learned feedback, with regular reviews and monitor effectiveness of change implementation.
Compliance: Transport Scotland has a central database to record lessons learned across its projects and procurements to ensure lessons are readily shared across teams. Lessons learned are captured, reviewed and shared on a quarterly basis, ensuring procurement lessons learned are incorporated into future procurement activity.
Delivery sub-action 4.2
Review and update the Transport Scotland Procurement Strategy template, the Transport Scotland Procurement Toolkit and the procurement compliance check procedure annually to take account of any legislative changes, internal policy changes and ensure consistency between documents.
Compliance: the Transport Scotland Procurement Strategy template is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure compliance in accordance with Scottish Government governance procedures and policy. During the reporting period this document was updated in June 2021 and March 2022 to align with new Scottish Procurement Policy Notes.
The Procurement Toolkit was updated in June 2021. The compliance check template has been reviewed to ensure it remains current.
Delivery sub-action 4.3
Engage with Scottish Government and wider public sector led initiatives, such as e-procurement and consider implementation within Transport Scotland.
Compliance: Transport Scotland supported a number of public sector led activities including:
- attending Scottish Government collaborative meetings relating to procurement
- ongoing stakeholder engagement with public bodies to share knowledge about implementing Project Bank Accounts
- attending the Scottish Government Procurement Event 2021
- using PECOS EASEBUY for e-Procurement
- liaising with the Scottish Government’s capability team to develop guides for those purchasing within primary impact areas for climate change.
- participating in Scottish Government research on sustainable procurement outcomes
Transport Scotland advertises procurements on Public Contracts Scotland and uses the website as a platform for managing the procurement process when appropriate. This includes use of the online SPD (Scotland) module, which makes the process more efficient for bidders.
Delivery sub-action 4.4
Engage with internal and external stakeholders, as appropriate, to facilitate sharing of best practice.
Compliance: Transport Scotland is an active, supportive member of the Scottish Government’s Procurement Collaboration Group and sectoral Procurement Cluster Group, enabling us to discuss and exchange best practice with our peers from across the public procurement sector.
We have also been an active member of the Scottish Government’s Construction Leadership Forum and have contributed to the development of the Scottish Government Multi-Supplier Civil Engineering Works Framework.
Transport Scotland has engaged with the following external organisations to facilitate sharing of best practice in procurement:
- Association for Consultancy and Engineering
- Civil Engineering Contractors Association
- Network Rail
- train operating companies
- freight operating companies
- Office of Rail and Road
- Rail Delivery Group
- Audit Scotland
- Highlands & Islands Enterprise
- local authorities
- other public sector procurement authorities
- British Association for Supported Employment
- ferry operating companies
Within Transport Scotland, examples of best practice are recorded within our procurement lessons learned process every quarter. Examples of best practice are made available to project managers as they commence procurements. Where ‘worked well’ lessons have been identified, these are incorporated into our procurement guidance so that they can be applied to future procurements.