Angus firms have been challenged to grab an even greater slice of the council procurement pie after figures revealed the rural authority is one of the best in the country for keeping cash local.
The area’s finance spokesman welcomed data revealing a total procurement outlay in 2018/19 of £106.7 million, including a £1.4m saving through collaborative arrangements with neighbouring authorities.
Although the spend dipped by 1.3% from the previous year, the statistics show 37% of the figure went to Angus-based suppliers, which compared to a Scottish average of 27% and ranked Angus sixth in the national league table.
It comes as neighbouring Dundee City Council remains in the grip of a corporate fraud investigation relating to the award of a multi-million pound construction contract for the installation of heat and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Angus finance spokesman, Kirriemuir Conservative Angus MacMillan Douglas said: “The 37% going to local firms is a tremendous achievement, but I would like to see it be even more, hopefully 50%.”
Administration colleague Bob Myles, who heads the council’s procurement sounding board said: “The council spends a significant amount on procurement and these are areas where we need to make sure we get the best value.
“To see 37% of our procurement spend is with suppliers based in Angus is a good news story – we’re doing what we can to help local businesses as well as being as efficient as possible.
As policy and resources councillors approved a review of the council’s strategy for the next two years, procurement and commissioning manager Mark Allan said scope remains for even greater collaborative savings.
Angus, Dundee City and Perth & Kinross Councils with Tayside Contracts embarked on delivery of a full shared procurement service for the Tayside councils in June as part of a project expected to last two years.
Mr Allan said: “There is substantial evidence of participation in a high degree of available collaborative procurement. In terms of spend, however, there is an 80/20% split in favour of non-collaborative procurement.
“The large majority of procurement spend is still addressed and managed by Angus Council staff applying a devolved procurement model.
“The Tayside Collaborative shared procurement service project which initiated in June should, once established, be mandatory for all procurement with only approved exceptions if the benefit identified by the business case is to be realised,” he said.
Perth and Kinross Council’s 2018/19 procurement spend was £240m, but the authority was not able to provide the locally-based percentage within that total.
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “A report will be presented to the policy and resources committee in December.”