The results of a study conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland (FSB), has revealed that councils risk failing local firms.
According to the study, done in association with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, councils in Scotland spend less of their budgets with local companies compared to other parts of the country.
The report comes ahead of changes to the way public procurement is handled and the FSB has outlined its recommendations.
Speaking about the report’s findings, Andy Willox, Scottish policy convener for the FSB, said:
“The Scottish government’s upcoming sustainable procurement bill is a real opportunity for us to decide what we want Scottish public procurement to do. ”
The lobbying group has said that a local economy should be supported by its council. Greater transparency in regards to how spending is directed is also urged.
Particularly in struggling economic times, such support could prove invaluable to boosting the working capital of local firms. Many are finding ways to do this themselves though, notably with the help of invoice factoring in Scotland.
As well as calling for constant improvements in the process, the FSB urged that contracts be specifically designed to promote the use of local firms.
The report also found many positive aspects in the way procurement is handled.
For example, the Public Contracts Scotland online portal was highlighted. The FSB believes it should be replicated throughout the whole of the UK.
The final proposals for the sustainable procurement bill are due to be published by the Scottish government towards the end of the summer.