Skip to main content

Procurement of care and support services

This guidance is being jointly published by the Scottish Government and COSLA having been co-produced by a Reference Group involving all key stakeholder interests (listed in Appendix 1) including: service user and carer representative organisations; independent, voluntary and public sector service providers; and organisations which procure care and support services. The Reference Group was advised by bodies with responsibility for regulating, inspecting and auditing the commissioning of services.

Our work has been informed by: national surveys of local authorities and service providers; meetings with local authorities, service providers, service users, regulatory bodies and local authority legal advisers; and discussions with the Scottish Human Rights Commission. Draft guidance was published for public consultation in January 2010, eliciting over 90 detailed responses.

The guidance has been developed in recognition that the procurement of care and support services is a complex area. In some instances, social care principles may not appear to fit within the procurement rules: there are apparent tensions between public bodies’ duty to respond to individuals’ needs and wishes and the re-tendering of services. This guidance aims to assist public bodies to make decisions that comply with all applicable polices, European Union and domestic law and human rights obligations.