Transport Scotland’s corporate commitments

Transport Scotland’s Procurement Strategy in context

Transport Scotland’s Procurement Strategy identifies the key policies and processes to be followed in its procurement activity. It sets out our corporate procurement aims and associated actions to support the achievement of Scottish Ministers’ ambition and vision for transport, as well as the strategic direction of our procurement activity for 2022-2023.

This Procurement Strategy sets out the framework in which we will ensure that procurement delivers value for money and sustainability, whilst being conducted to high professional standards and in accordance with the relevant legal requirements.

Transport Scotland’s corporate delivery commitments

As an agency of the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland supports and advises the Government on the strategy and policy options for transport in Scotland.  This enables the delivery of major transport projects and maintains the infrastructure of Scotland. The agency is responsible for overseeing the development, operation and improvement of the trunk road, ferry, canal and railway networks in Scotland, Highlands and Islands and Prestwick airports, the provision of rail and ferry services, securing air routes for Scotland, the national concessionary travel schemes and the provision of network traffic and travel information services.

As an enabler for enhancing productivity and delivering faster, more sustainable growth, transport is a key element of the overall strategy for infrastructure investment and is central to the Scottish Government’s ambitions for a low carbon economy.

We  seek to deliver a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system for the benefit of the people of Scotland. The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government A Fairer, Greener Scotland was published in September 2021 and commits to using the recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 to promote a just transition and build a wellbeing economy. This was followed in March 2022 by the publication of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation which sets out a strategy for putting people and opportunities at the centre of Scotland’s economy as it develops over the next 10 years. Our Corporate Plan supports this programme and sets out the commitments that Transport Scotland will deliver to support the Scottish Government’s Purpose. The National Transport Strategy (NTS2) presents the vision for Scotland’s transport system over the next 20 years, which is:

Our Vision

"We will have a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system, helping deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland for communities, businesses and visitors.”

Reduces inequalities

  • Will provide fair access to services we need
  • Will be easy to use for all
  • Will be affordable for all

Takes climate action

  • Will help deliver our net-zero target
  • Will adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Will promote greener, cleaner choices

Helps deliver economic growth

  • Will get people and goods where they need to get to
  • Will be reliable, efficient and high quality
  • Will use beneficial innovation

Improves our health and wellbeing

  • Will be safe and secure for all
  • Will enable us to make healthy travel choices
  • Will help make our communities great places to live

The vision is underpinned by four priorities, each with three associated outcomes. The vision, priorities and outcomes will be the basis upon which we take decisions and evaluate the success of Scotland’s transport policies going forward. Procurement will be key in delivering the vision. The National Transport Strategy Second Delivery Plan sets out the practical actions which will deliver the vision, providing a coordinated overview to our transport investments and projects.

In June 2021, the Scottish Government’s Public Procurement Group (PPG) set the strategic vision and direction for public procurement in Scotland. Following consultation across the public sector and with representatives from business and the third sector, the PPG has published a set of seven Public Procurement Priorities for all public procurement leaders. These priorities are embedded into chapter 6 of this procurement strategy and we are committed to using the power of procurement to deliver and influence outcomes that are good for the people of Scotland.

Transport Scotland’s procurement spend

Transport Scotland has a wide range of procurement needs to enable the agency to deliver its responsibilities. In 2020/2021 we spent £2.032 billion on contracts under its management. This represents a substantial proportion of our budget with most of the remainder being expended as grant funding and other forms of support to other public and private sector organisations.   

On average we have more than 350 contracts in place at any one time. These range from large-scale contracts such as those associated with Trunk Road maintenance and provision of ferries services, through to smaller contracts including the purchase of goods and services needed to keep our staff and offices supported and operational.

In accordance with the requirements of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, Transport Scotland’s Contracts Register, which includes details of contracts entered into as a result of a regulated procurement, is published on the Public Contracts Scotland portal.

Stakeholder engagement

Effective engagement with our stakeholders on procurement matters is essential to drive innovation, best practice and collaboration. The following list, although not exhaustive, demonstrates the broad range of stakeholders that may be engaged in these discussions relating to procurements with Transport Scotland:

  • active travel groups
  • Association of Consulting Engineers
  • British Transport Police
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association
  • community groups and individual landowners and residents
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • cycling groups
  • Department for Transport
  • disabled people organisations
  • Department for Infrastructure - Roads (Northern Ireland)
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Freight Haulage Association
  • National highways
  • Highways Term Maintenance Association
  • individual Local Authorities and National Park Authorities
  • Mobility and Access Committee Scotland
  • Network Rail
  • Office of Rail and Road
  • public utility providers
  • public transport groups
  • Rail Delivery Group
  • Regional Transport Partnerships
  • Scottish Futures Trust
  • Scottish Government Directorates, including Scottish Government Legal Directorate and Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate
  • Scottish Ministers
  • Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland
  • Scottish Government Agencies including those acting as Statutory bodies or Regulators e.g. NatureScot and Historic Environment Scotland
  • suppliers
  • third sector
  • trade unions
  • Transport Focus
  • Transport for Wales
  • universities and other academic establishments

We advertise regulated procurement opportunities, as well as lower value procurements, through the Public Contracts Scotland Portal and those valued at over the relevant UK threshold are also advertised through the UK Find a Tender service. We undertake early market engagement to identify areas of savings, added value and innovation and to ensure that tendering for Transport Scotland contracts remains an attractive opportunity. We also publish Contract Award Notices for regulated procurements, including frameworks and collaborative contracts, on the Public Contracts Scotland Portal.

Transport Scotland holds industry days when relevant to promote interest in forthcoming contract opportunities and inform potential suppliers of the business opportunities that a contract may provide. We also utilise Competitive Dialogue procedures for works contracts to encourage innovative solutions and achieve best value for money.