Malcolm urges the Scottish Government to improve guidelines for tendering processes
Question on Social Care Procurement and the tendering process Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-28083 by Shona Robison on 29 October 2009, when it will issue its final guidance on social care procurement. (S3O-9363)

Shona Robison (The Minister for Public Health and Sport):
The Scottish Government published draft guidance on social care procurement for consultation in January 2010 and the consultation period ends on 5 April. We will consider all responses to the consultation, along with any other available evidence, in preparing the final guidance for publication.

Malcolm Chisholm:
Does the minister agree that the guidance cannot come too soon following the fiasco of the recent social care retendering in Edinburgh? The retendering completely ignored service users' wishes and has resulted in great human and financial costs, including nearly 100,000 for the damning Deloitte report that analyses the fiasco in detail.

Will the minister pay careful attention to that report before issuing the final guidance? Will she also make it clear in the guidance that retendering is not obligatory if service providers are performing well and to the satisfaction of their clients?

Shona Robsion:
The procurement of social care services is ultimately the responsibility of local authorities and it would not be appropriate for ministers to intervene in that.

However, the setting of guidance is clearly important. I certainly expect that the guidance will take account of all the experiences of local authorities in the processes that they have undertaken.

I am sure that we will look at Edinburgh and its experience along with the experience of many other local authorities. However, I am sure that Malcolm Chisholm agrees that what is important is getting the guidance right for service users, which the Government is determined to do.
February 9th 2010, (Column 23525)