A new platform developed by Scottish software developers Horisk Leslie Development for Scottish Procurement is helping Scotland’s public bodies embed sustainability requirements in their procurements, kickstarting the national economic recovery post-Covid-19.
The Sustainable Procurement Tools platform brings together three tools designed to help Scotland’s public sector organisations identify and address how they can optimise the economic, social and environmental outcomes of their procurement. It makes them easier to access, reference and use – with a similar look and feel to each. It also enables better sharing of knowledge and experience within and beyond the organisations and makes them more likely to be used and deliver their benefits to the organisations, businesses and the public.
The Flexible Framework Assessment Tool is used to assess the current level of performance and actions required to embed good procurement practice to realise intended sustainable outcomes. The Prioritisation Tool assists early-stage strategic planning and brings a standard, structured approach to the assessment of spend categories. The Sustainability Test helps embed relevant and proportionate sustainability requirements in the development of frameworks and contracts. It can be used on its own or on the results of prioritisation assessment, where done.
Made live recently, the bespoke platform developed over five months by the Cupar-based consultancy replaces several offline Excel-based tools and is already being used by just under 100 procurement officials. Horisk, which specialises in bespoke software systems to simplify using organisation processes, won the £61,000 contract through a competitive tender in one of the Scottish Government’s national frameworks designed to ensure best value and quality in privately-sourced services and products.
Using the sustainable procurement tools on the new platform to assist early-stage strategic planning can form a helpful part of restarting activities, contributing to Scotland’s four-step economic plan: Response, Reset, Restart and Recover. Using the tools in the new platform can also help embed relevant and proportionate social, economic and environmental requirements in public frameworks and contracts.
Horisk’s public sector projects include work for the Historic Environment Scotland, Scotland’s Charity Regulator (OSCR), the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS), National Museums of Scotland, The Robert Gordon University, University of St Andrews, University of West of Scotland, The London School of Economics with more being created.
Speaking about the new platform, Director Brian Horisk, said: “We’re delighted to have had another large public sector client – a directorate of The Scottish Government - select us to develop a key tool which will be used by many organisations throughout Scotland to help us not only recover from the social, economic and environmental damage done by Covid-19 but also rebuild in a socially-inclusive and environmentally sustainable way so the benefits are enjoyed by all and help Scotland meet its climate goals.
“As someone committed to sustainable development, this has been a very satisfying project to use our specialism in bespoke software systems which simplify using organisation processes. It’s great to see it being adopted so widely already – allowing the benefits to be realised so soon.”
Lorraine Hook, of Scottish Procurement, said: “Horisk’s experience of developing similar tools for other public sector organisations was invaluable and meant they could hit the ground running on our project. They were able to offer innovative solutions to our requirements and, despite the pandemic, continued to work with us to deliver our project on time. As a result, we now have a single platform which provides easier access to our suite of tools and supporting guidance.”
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