Procurement experts will help cut council's bills

Archived news: published on Friday 13 Apr 2018 by Fife Council

In November the Policy & Coordination Committee agreed to principles for new ways of working across the council with the potential to save around £25million. Officers were asked to develop business cases for specific change proposals and today (12 April) councillors approved the first of these – a proposal to adopt new methods of procurement and contract management, which could save the council £16m over three years.

Fife Council Co-Leader, Cllr David Ross said: “As part of the proposal, we have agreed to use the industry expertise of Scotland Excel - a not-for-profit organisation that supports the Scottish public sector - to help us reduce third party spend.

“A Scotland Excel team will be based in our offices, alongside the council’s own procurement team, to help us make savings through better management of demand, operational control and contract reviews. Importantly, this joint working will build commercial acumen within council teams, which will benefit the organisation well beyond the two-year span of this project.”

Cllr David Alexander, Fife Council Co-Leader continued: “Saving 5% of our total spend on goods and services is just one way in which we’re aiming to get better at what we do and cut our costs, without impacting on the level of service the public experience.

“The procurement and contract management project is part of a much wider programme of work which, over time, will change both the way the council operates, and the culture of the organisation. It’s vital work to make us fit for the future.”

There are five work streams to change the way the council works so that it can focus on creating a successful, confident and fairer Fife - despite societal and financial pressures;

  • Communities: improving local planning, collaboration and decision making; and integrating and rationalising service delivery from fewer community buildings with schools at the centre of our local asset strategy.
  • Customer: putting a single view of each customer’s experience at the heart of services, supported by a significant shift to online information and services.
  • Operations: removing unnecessary steps that hold things up for customers and communities; using more online services as well as mobile and flexible working solutions to make the best use of staff time, buildings and tools.
  • Commercialisation: reducing spend on goods and services, examining methods of cost recovery and exploring ways to generate income and new revenue streams with a range of partners.
  • Building value: reducing the number of council-owned properties and improving energy efficiency by supporting working practices that consistently make the best use of space.

Julie Welsh, Director of Scotland Excel said: “As the Centre of Procurement Expertise for local government, we are delighted to be working with Fife Council to help them deliver their ambitious change programme.

“With ten years’ experience of successfully leading change within procurement across local government, we are confident that we can support the council in reaching its savings target.  

“The project has been designed to embed procurement knowledge and practice within the council which will have sustained benefits over the longer term.”


David Alexander, Councillor 
Tel: 01333 351014 Contact David Alexander online
By Post: Fife council, Fife House North Street, Glenrothes,KY7 5LT

David Ross, Councillor 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 24 03 Contact David Ross online
By Post: Fife council, Fife House North Street, Glenrothes,KY7 5LT

Stuart Fargie, Programme Manager (Commercialisation) 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 59 59 Fax: 01592 583441 Contact Stuart Fargie online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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