Procurement and Tendering

Find out about Scottish Canals’ procurement policies and find out about our latest contract opportunities.

What is Procurement

The British Waterways Board, operating as Scottish Canals, is a stand-alone public body and its procurement activity is governed by Public Procurement Regulations.

Public procurement is the process by which public bodies acquire goods, services and works from third parties to meet the needs of Scottish Canals. Procurement covers all activities from identification of a requirement through to the end of the useful life or disposal of an asset.

Scottish Canals procures a diverse range of goods, works and services including items such as stationery, energy and fuels, and construction works.

More information on the rules and regulations can be found on the Scottish Government Procurement Pages.

Scottish Canals Governance Documents

Scottish Canals have created a number of internal documents to help promote good procurement practice across the organisation. These documents meet the requirements of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. The Procurement Strategy document explains the strategic aims of the procurement function of the organisation, while the Procurement Policy document gives more detail on the steps that will be carried out to help deliver the Strategy.

Contract Opportunities

Scottish Canals advertise contract opportunities on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). This site is provided by the Scottish Government and is designed to allow a consistent approach to advertising contract opportunities across the public sector in Scotland. The site is free of charge to register with and use and can be set up to provide alerts when contracts of a specific type or from a particular organisation are posted.

This site gives details of past, current and future tender activity of Scottish Canals as well as providing access to the Scottish Canals Contract Register.

PCS is also the home of Quick Quote. Quick Quote is used to issue quotations directly to suitable suppliers who have registered with the site. Quick Quote is used for low value, low risk procurement opportunities.

Electronic Tendering

In order to reduce the costs in both time and materials, Scottish Canals have adopted electronic tendering using the Scottish Government portal PCS-Tender. This site is used by a number of Public Sector Bodies in Scotland and allows the entire tender process to be carried out electronically. The site also makes used of standardised questions that allow suppliers to save and re-use information that is needed by more than one purchasing body. This reduces the need to recreate answers when tendering for more than one opportunity.

Collaborative Contracts

Scottish Canals look to utilise collaborative contracts where they offer a saving in terms of cost or efficiency. Collaborative contracts are set up either as national, local or sectoral contracts that bring together organisations with common procurement needs. National contracts include contracts set up by the Scottish Government for services such as Gas and Electricity Supply as well as IT and Telecoms where spend is common across the whole of the Public Sector. Local and Sectoral contracts are set up by a lead organisation on behalf of a number of individual public bodies who have similar requirements. This could include corporate clothing for several organisations who all have small retail outlets or the provision of cleaning services in a particular geographic area.

Organisations who let national contracts that Scottish Canals may utilise include Scottish Government, Crown Commercial Service, SCAPE Procure, ESPO and others.

Terms and Conditions

Scottish Canals use standard Terms and Conditions for the purchase of goods and services. Where a contract exists, these Terms and Conditions will be agreed as part of the tender process. In all other cases, the Terms and Conditions published on Public Contracts Scotland under the Documents tab will apply.

Contact the Team

If you have any queries that have not been answered by the information provided on this page then please contact procurement@scottishcanals.co.uk and we will do our best to assist you.