COUNCIL CONTRACTS: Largest, free procurement event in Scotland announced

By Lucy Ashton

The Supplier Development Programme has announced its largest, free procurement event in Scotland will take place next month on Tuesday, 8 June.

The 12th Annual Meet the Buyer 2021 will take place as a live, virtual event. Headline partners include the Scottish Government and Scotland Excel.

“Meet the Buyer 2021 is the event of the year for supplier engagement with buyers, particularly as the public sector turns towards economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gillian Cameron, SDP Programme manager.

“Businesses will be able to meet procurement teams from local councils, alongside other public and private sector buying organisations, private contractors and business support organisations.”

Well, they will if the councils in question have a procurement team and are alert to developments now taking place in that area.

Cameron House Hotel where contractors and council officials socialised.

Allegations of contract fraud arose in West Dunbartonshire during a time when there were no contract procurement regulations in place at the Church Street- based, basket case authority.

It was alleged that council officials wined and dined with contractors vying for work worth £ millions  in expensive hotels such as Cameron House and city restaurants and played golf at exclusive golf clubs on Loch Lomondside.

The local Health Board has been accused of squandering £ millions at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow where there were deaths following a scandal about dirty water and ferral pigeons in the building having breached health and safety codes.

“Year after year, the Supplier Development Programme consistently facilitates a crucial connection between Scotland’s small businesses with the public sector,” Ms Cameron said.

The only thing that ever came of that was the councillors who pushed for an investigation was suspended and and at least one chief official left with a golden parachute-type commutation package.

She added: “Though this year’s event is virtual, Meet the Buyer 2021 will provide suppliers with the same ability to raise their profile as a business, and learn about upcoming bidding opportunities that could offer much-needed stability in the long-term.”

As the largest free procurement event in Scotland, the event affords suppliers unprecedented access to buyers and decision makers from across the public and private sector, with the opportunity to raise local business profiles to Scottish local authorities and other buying organisations like Social Security Scotland, The Scottish Parliament, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Transport Scotland and many more.

The event will feature an interactive agenda with a range of expert speakers and live question and answer sessions on hot topics such as COVID-19 economic recovery plans, Growth Deals, links to Community Wealth Building, sustainable procurement, Fair Work First, how to bring innovation to the public sector, the climate change emergency in public sector procurement, and Brexit.

The event is free to attend and open to all, but businesses are encouraged to register early through the Supplier Development Programme website at

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