Procurement Changes on the Way for Scotland’s Housing Associations
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing
Housing associations are being alerted to major changes to procurement legislation and practice which will have a huge impact on how they deliver new affordable homes and services for Scotland’s people, by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) at a major event next week.
Procurement, or ‘how we buy stuff,’ is an increasingly a hot topic, with the Scottish Government bringing out a new bill as well as this week completing a review of procurement in construction. Meanwhile a new EU directive is likely to raise existing thresholds at which contracts have to be advertised Europe-wide.
Changes will see housing associations subject to spending thresholds for advertising services and construction contracts as other ‘public bodies’ in Scotland.
Traditionally, housing associations and co-operatives – which are rooted in their communities – have used their purchasing power to spend as much as possible locally, supporting local jobs and businesses. The sector is keen to continue to support local economies in this way and re-enforce the community benefit aspects of procurement.
Susan Torrance, SFHA Policy Manager with specific responsibility for procurement, said:
“Procurement policy is a hot topic, with the new Procurement Reform Bill and the publication of the Review of Procurement in Construction from the Scottish Government, both of which have major implications for housing associations and co-operatives. Associations are key economic players in their local communities, and keen to remain so. However, given we are unlikely, in the near future, to be redefined as non public contracting authorities, we will require to embrace the new initiatives.
“These include the introduction of new thresholds for services and construction contracts at £50,000 and £2m. It is ironic that the new EU directive, due out in January 2014, is likely to raise thresholds for EU-wide advertising of contract opportunities. As the SFHA we will get as much information on changes out to people as possible while also lobbying for some of the new provisions to better fit our member businesses. Watch this space!”
These issues will be fully explored at the SFHA’s Property Repairs and Asset Management conference, which takes place on the 28th and 29th October at the Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee. The event will also see the results of a series of procurement fact-finding seminars revealed.
Other crucial issues to be debated at the conference include the Social Housing Charter and energy efficiency standards for social housing.
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- For more information or a place at the conference, please visit http://www.sfha.co.uk/component/option,com_jevents/Itemid,96/day,28/evid,150/month,10/task,icalrepeat.detail/title,property-repairs-and-asset-management-conference-2013/uid,1435591cf5bf48b4f1ecca007b155456/year,2013/
- The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 119 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance. www.sfha.co.uk
- The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
- Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.