It is possible for a public sector procurement officer to “reserve” a procurement exercise so that the contract or part of it e.g. a lot or lots, can only be supplied by a Supported Business or Businesses.
A Supported Business is an organisation:
- whose main aim is the social and professional integration of disabled and disadvantaged workers; and
- where at least 30% of their workforce are classed as disabled or disadvantaged workers.
For a Reserved Contract all of the normal procurement rules apply, including being subject to all procurement legislation.
If a contract is to be a Reserved Contract then this must be stated within the Contract Notice.
If you are a Supported Business you can seek more advice from the following organisations:
Social Firms Scotland
Social Firms Scotland provide support for to organisations who create work for those who face barriers to employment . They provide: information and advice; business development support; events and training; fostering collaboration.
Senscot supports the networking of social entrepreneurs, and are working to establish and maintain a support network for social enterprises.