Procurement Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016: An Overview

Procurement is an essential process that involves acquiring goods, services, or works from external sources. In Scotland, the public sector spends billions of pounds on procurement every year, making it a crucial area for regulation and governance. The Procurement Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016 are a set of rules that govern the procurement process for the Scottish public sector.

The regulations came into force on April 18, 2016, replacing the previous set of rules (the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012). The new regulations aim to simplify and streamline the procurement process while ensuring transparency, fairness, and competition.

Key Requirements of the Procurement Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016:

1. Thresholds: The regulations set out financial thresholds that determine when procurement rules apply. For goods and services, the threshold is £50,000, while for works, it is £2 million. If the value of the procurement is below these thresholds, the regulations do not apply.

2. Procedures: The regulations set out specific procedures that must be followed depending on the value and type of procurement. These can range from an open procedure (where all interested suppliers can bid) to a negotiated procedure (where only selected suppliers can bid).

3. Transparency: The regulations require buyers to be transparent in their procurement practices, which means publishing information about procurement opportunities, evaluation criteria, and contract awards.

4. Exclusion and Selection Criteria: The regulations set out specific exclusion and selection criteria that must be used to ensure that only suitable suppliers are considered for procurement. These criteria relate to a supplier`s financial, technical, and professional capabilities.

5. Evaluation Criteria: The regulations require buyers to use objective and transparent criteria to evaluate bids. These criteria should be related to the specific requirements of the procurement.

6. Contract Award: The regulations require buyers to award contracts based on the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) or the lowest price. The MEAT approach involves evaluating bids based on a range of criteria, including quality, service, and innovation, as well as price.

Benefits of the Procurement Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016:

The regulations have several benefits for both buyers and suppliers. For buyers, the regulations provide a clear and transparent framework for procurement, helping to ensure that they get the best value for money and comply with legal requirements. For suppliers, the regulations provide a level playing field and increase the opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to compete for public sector contracts.


Overall, the Procurement Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016 represent an important step forward in the regulation of public sector procurement in Scotland. By providing a clear and transparent framework for procurement, the regulations help to ensure that public sector buyers achieve value for money and that suppliers of all sizes have a fair chance to compete for contracts. As such, the regulations are an essential tool for promoting economic growth and delivering high-quality public services in Scotland.