Skip to content

There are several pieces of legislation which changed the rules (regulatory framework) for public procurement across the Scottish public sector in 2014 and beyond:

Together, the Act and the Directives will provide the statutory foundations for the Scottish Model of Procurement, simplifying, standardising and streamlining procedures for both businesses and public bodies. It will place sustainable and socially responsible purchasing at the heart of the process.

The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

The Act provides Ministers with powers to make Regulations and issue Statutory Guidance on a number of specified issues. Most provisions of the Act do not, therefore, come into effect immediately and the work to develop the Regulations and Guidance will be aligned to the work on the development of Regulations to transpose the EU Procurement Directives.

Why is it important?

The Act is a significant element of the continuing Public Procurement Reform Programme. The Programme centres on the Scottish Model of Procurement, which puts procurement at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery. It sees procurement as an integral part of policy development and service delivery. It is a simple concept - business friendly, socially responsible. Looking at outcomes not outputs, it uses the power of public spend to deliver genuine public value beyond simply cost/quality in purchasing.

The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act builds on the work achieved so far in the reform of public procurement in Scotland. It will establish the laws regarding sustainable public procurement, and allow us to maximise the economic benefit brought to Scotland from effective and efficient public procurement activity.

EU Procurement Directives and Scottish Regulations

EU Procurement Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC set out detailed procedural rules which are based on the principles outlined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. They are intended to support the single market by harmonising procedures for higher value contracts, ensuring that they are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union in standard format.

The Directives are given effect in Scots law by the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012(SSI 2012 No 88) and the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (SSI 2012 No 89), as amended, which came into force on 1st May 2012.

Current Scottish Legislation

Current UK Regulations implementing the EU Procurement Directives


Summary of East Ayrshire Council thresholds
ThresholdAdvertising Requirement
£0 - £500 N/A
£500 - £50,000 Public Contracts Scotland – Quick Quote
Above £50,000 – EU Threshold Public Contracts Scotland and OJEU
Consultancy – Below £10,000 Public Contracts Scotland – Quick Quote
Consultancy – Above £10,000 Public Contracts Scotland
Summary of EU thresholds from 1 January 2018 (net of VAT)
Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015SuppliesServicesWorks
Other public sector contracting authorities £181,302 £181,302 £4,551,413
Small lots £65,630 £65,630 £820,370

Procurement policy

It is important to keep abreast of legal and regulatory changes to procurement in Scotland. The Scottish Government publishes the Scottish Procurement Policy Notes (SPPN) on an ad-hoc basis to provide advice on current policy issues.

Contact Information

Council Headquarters
London Road
Telephone: 01563 576133