Scottish Government boosts procurement with new 'app'

Scotland's main public-sector procurement group is launching the world's first mobile "app" to alert businesses to new contracts for works worth £9bn a year.

Public Contract Scotland, the Scottish Government's purchasing wing, wants to throw open access to contract notices as soon as they are posted to target smaller firms.

Users of Apple iPhones and iPads can use the free service, with access for other mobile brands in the pipeline, said a representative.

"You can access information more easily and faster than by browsing on the web, as well as search notices by category, commodity and date."

He said the launch recognised the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which make up 80 per cent of suppliers and account for around 50 per cent of spend to contracting groups.

"For SMEs, which often don't have dedicated teams focusing on tender submissions, the ability to monitor potential new deals on the move has real benefits."

Public Contract Scotland has more than 48,000 registered suppliers and has published 11,000 business opportunities in the past year. Estimates suggest each registered supplier saves more than £400 a year in time and resources. The overall efficiency saving is estimated at more than £36m.

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Driving forward efficiency in public-sector procurement enables the delivery of improved public services at a reduced cost. The app makes contract opportunities even more accessible to suppliers and helps make public-sector procurement more transparent."

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