Develop Strategy

This part of the Procurement Journey helps you to create a Route 2 Commodity/Service strategy.

A Commodity/Service Strategy should not be confused with a Procurement Strategy.  The publication of a Procurement Strategy is a legislative requirement under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 for public bodies with an estimated regulated procurement spend of £5 million or over per year. Further information on Procurement Strategy requirements can be found in the Resources section. 

Develop Strategy Templates

To aid creating your Commodity/Service strategy, templates are provided at the bottom of this page:

  • The Business Case template provides headings (with accompanying descriptions) to include when seeking aproval for your project. 
  • The Commodity - Service strategy is a checklist of the areas which you may include in your strategy.
  • A Develop Strategy template is provided for your use.  You do not need to use all of the elements contained in this template for your strategy: use the areas which are relevant to your specific procurement exercise.   To save this template in a version that you can edit yourself, click on the template hyperlink below, right mouse click over the "Open File" link and select the option "Save Target As".

You will find additional Commodity/Service Strategy guidance and templates in Route 3 and you may find these of help when looking at higher risk or value Route 2 procurement exercises.  However you only need to follow Route 3 where the contract is required by law to be advertised.

If you are unable to estimate the value of a contract that contract will be explicitly made subject to the procurement rules. 

Any economic, social and environmental sustainability opportunities should be included in your strategy when they are relevant and proportionate.  Examples are community benefits and fair working practices.

Contracts Register

When developing your commodity/service strategy, you should access the contracts register for your organisation.  This will assist in evaluating existing contract arrangements, including contract value.

The Contracts Register module in Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) provides the facility for buying organisations to operate a private register of all contracts they have in place.  This public register of contracts meets the obligations of Section 35 of the Procurement Reform Act (Scotland) 2014.

Quickfire Guide

Quickfire Guide

Contracts Register Hints & Tips

The PCS contracts register will pull through the contract value from the contract award notice. You should always be open and transparent when completing this contract value field.  This field can be manually amended but all relevant amendments need to be manually duplicated in the Scottish Procurement Information Hub: there is no integration between the two systems.

A organisation may withhold information from publication on the contract award or the conclusion of the framework agreement.  This is when the release of the information:

(a) would impede law enforcement or be contrary to the public interest;

(b) would prejudice the commercial interests of any person;

(c) might prejudice fair competition between economic operators.

So, if relying on (b) above, you would need to be able to demonstarte that the commercial interests of the company concerned would defintitely be prejudiced by the release of this information.

PLEASE NOTE:  if you do not use PCS for producing a contract register, you still must produce a publicly available one.

When a Commodity/Service Strategy is prepared it must be proportionate to:

  • risk
  • value and
  • the strategic importance of the commodity/service to your organisation.

Quickfire Guide

Quickfire Guide

Sign Off Points

There are natural break points within the Procurement Journey that can be used as review points for sign off and approval to proceed to the next stage of the process.

Suggested review and sign off points are:

  • At Project Initiation
  • After Initial Opportunity Assessment
  • For approval of Strategy including budget
  • For approval of Contract Notice, Selection Stage and/or ITT
  • At Contract Award stage
  • At Implementation stage

Throughout the Journey you will see reference to these sign off points at the relevant sections, as well as documents/templates for your use. Any review and agreement to the project plan should be in line with your organisation's governance arrangements.

Consideration must also be given to Planning, Sustainable Procurement and Risk Management throughout this stage of the Journey.

Once you have completed your Commodity/Service strategy, you should continue your Journey.

Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable Procurement

The Sustainable Procurement Duty, outlined in the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, requires you to think about how you can improve the:

  • Social,
  • Environmental and
  • Economic wellbeing

of the area(s) in which you operate – whether that is nationally or more locally.  Particular focus should be on reducing inequality.

You can create a positive environmental impact through every procurement exercise you undertake, regardless of its value or scope. This must be a key part of commodity/service profiling and strategy development rather than an optional area of interest. You must fully explore the possibilities with your User Intelligence Group and other stakeholders for your procurement.

Full Sustainable Procurement guidance can be found the Sustainable Procurement Station in Route 3.

What if You Don’t Use PCS to Publish Your Contract Register?

PLEASE NOTE:  if you do not use PCS for producing a contract register, you still must produce a publicly available one.

When a Commodity/Service Strategy is prepared it must be proportionate to:

  • risk,
  • value and
  • the strategic importance of the commodity/service to your organisation.

What if You Use PCS-Tender?

If using PCS-Tender, the Procurement Officer should upload the appropriate slides to the appropriate task within PCS-Tender.

Data Protection

Organisations should determine if data processing activities are relevant to your procurement exercise.

Your contracts may be subject to Data Protection legislation.

Organisations must ensure:

  • current and future procurement exercises are compliant with Data Protection.  This includes contracts that began before the legislation came into force
  • All relevant procurement documents make reference to the new legislation.

More detailed information can be found in Data Protection in Additional Resources.

Freedom of Information

Please note that if you withhold the contract value from a contract award notice this information may still be requested from your organisation via the Freedom Of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

The FOISA equivalent test is set much higher than the Contracts Register i.e. publication would have to, or be likely to:

  • cause substantial prejudice, and
  • the impact to public interest in withholding the information would have to outweigh the public interest in releasing it.

Detailed contracts register user guidance can be found in PCS.

Care and Support Services

For Care and Support Services procurements, Procurement Officers must use Route 3 Develop Strategy stations and sub-stations to develop their service strategy and plan their approach to the procurement.  You should then progress Route 2 from the Develop Documents station.

Cyber Security

Cyber Risks

If the contract will involve, support or rely on the digital processing of information, organisations should ensure that appropriate consideration is given to potential cyber risks and their management.

Further information on how to assess and manage cyber risks as part of the procurement process can be found in the Scottish public sector Guidance Note on Supplier Cyber Security  Buyers may also optionally make use of the Cyber Security Procurement Support Tool to assess cyber risks and generate minimum cyber security requirements as part of award criteria. More information can be found in Leadership and Governance.

Any documents you need are listed below

Business Case

(file type: docx)