Route 2 - Develop Strategy

This part of the Procurement Journey is to assist Procurement Officers in the Scottish public sector to develop an abridged version of a Commodity/Service strategy for Route 2.

[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.]

For Route 2 Commodity/Service strategies the word document and PowerPoint presentations below hold the same information and you can complete whichever version you prefer. You can also link to further guidance and templates from Route 3 where required when completing your Commodity/Service Strategy. Once you have completed either version of the Commodity/Service strategy you should continue your Journey to the next station, Develop Documents.

Any economic, social and environmental sustainability opportunities e.g. the scope to include community benefits and fair working practices, should also be captured for inclusion in your strategy when they are relvant and proportionate.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Organisations should determine if data processing activities are relevant to the commodity/service which is the subject of the procurement exercise.

Contracts that are currently subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 will likely also be subject to GDPR. Organisations must ensure that current and future procurement exercises (including contracts entered into before the legislation came into force) are compliant with GDPR and all relevant procurement documents make reference to the new legislation.

More detailed information on GDPR can be found in Leadership & Governance.

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 beta Scottish Cyber Assessment Service (SCAS) to assess cyber risks and generate minimum cyber security requirements as part of award criteria. More information can be found in Leadership and Governance.

Contracts Register

Whilst developing the commodity/service strategy, organisations may access the contracts register for their organisation to assist in evaluating existing arrangements, including contract value.

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


It is important to note that the contracts register will pull through the contract value from the contract award notice. You should always be as open and transparent as possible when completing this field.  This field can be manually amended but please be aware that all relevant amendments have to be manually duplicated in the Scottish Procurement Information Hub  as there is no integration between the two systems.


A contracting authority may withhold information from publication on the contract award or the conclusion of the framework agreement where the release of the information:


(a) would impede law enforcement or otherwise 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) you would need to be able to demonstrate that the commercial interests of the company concerned would definitely be prejudiced by the release of this information.

You should bear in mind, however, that even if you withhold the contract value from a contract award notice, this does not provide cover from Freedom Of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), where the equivalent test is set much higher - to withhold under FOISA, the release would have to, or be likely to cause substantial prejudice, and the public interest in withholding the information would have to outweigh the public interest in its release.

Detailed contracts register user guidance can be found in PCSSome additional fields have been added to PCS.  These fields are optional and can be used by you for local reporting requirements by populating information.  These fields will not be publically viewable. Defintions for some of these new fields can be found in Contracts Register Fields.

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

For complex Regulated Procurements, you may find some of the guidance and tools in Route 3 to be of benefit, but you only need to follow Route 3 where the contract is required by law to be advertised in OJEU. When a Commodity/Service Strategy is prepared it must be proportionate to risk, value and the strategic importance of the commodity/service to the Organisation. Consideration must also be given to Planning, Sustainable Procurement and Risk Management throughout this stage of the Journey.

If utilising PCS-Tender, the Procurement Officer should upload the appropriate slides to the appropriate task within PCS-Tender. A Commodity/Service Strategy should not be confused with a Procurement Strategy, the preparation and publication of which is now a legislative requirement under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 for public bodies which have an estimated regulated procurement spend of at least £5 million in a given financial year. Further information on Procurement Strategy requirements can be found in the Leadership & Governance section.


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