Scottish Budget 2018

Against the backdrop of uncertainty caused by the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP has delivered the 2018 Scottish Budget (December 12th).

Describing it as a “fair and progressive budget” Derek Mackay presented a business-friendly package, while placing the protection of public services at the heart of this Budget Statement.

Below you can find a breakdown of key Scottish Budget 2018 figures in addition to which public sector opportunities await your industry.


A £50 million ‘Town Centre Fund’ will provide much needed support for Scotland’s high streets. There will also be a cap put on business rates below inflation, providing a tax cut for small businesses, which Mackay described as “the most generous system anywhere in the UK”. The partnership between the private sector and the Scottish Government has played an important role in recent years, which was championed by the Cabinet Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn MSP at Procurex Scotland, in which he encouraged businesses to consider the welfare of local communities and the environment, calling on suppliers to “not be risk averse”.


An investment of £825 million -as part of an overall fund of £3 billion- will help deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this parliament, which has been the cornerstone of Housing Minister Kevin Stewart’s construction agenda.


Describing education as the Scottish Government’s “defining mission”, the Finance Secretary set out bold new proposals for Scottish schools. £180m will be used to close the attainment gap, including £120m, which will be directed towards headteacher budgets through ‘Pupil Equity Funding’. £600m will also be given to colleges and £1 billion has been secured for Scotland’s world-class universities. £214m has been set aside for apprenticeships and skills; providing a gateway in to employment for many of Scotland’s young people.


An increase of £730m will be provided to NHS Scotland, which is the equivalent to hiring 19,000 nurses, as Derek Mackay confirmed “health is a top priority for the government”, which accounts for almost half of the Scottish Government’s overall spending.

Local Government

The Scottish Government will provide “a real terms increase in the total local government settlement of over £210m” Mackay said, taking the local government budget to £11.1 billion. This will be welcome news for Fife Council executive director Keith Winter, who was a keynote speaker at Procurex Scotland, where he championed “social justice” as he encouraged councillors to adopt a global strategy moving forward.

GO Awards Scotland 2018/19: Celebrating Excellence in Public Procurement

Finalists took to the stage at the prestigious GO Awards Scotland 2018 event at Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel on 23 October 2018, to celebrate the people behind the country’s procurement success.

Among the guests were public sector buyers and their suppliers, continuing conversations that started earlier that day at Procurex Scotland, held in the SEC Glasgow.

This year, the GO Awards ceremony formed the glittering climax to Scotland’s Festival of Procurement and welcomed over 500 delegates from the Scottish public procurement community and its suppliers, who went head to head to win a coveted GO Award.

The GO Awards ceremony was hosted by BBC Scotland presenter Catriona Renton, who guided guests through the evening of presentations. Her first acknowledgement was of the hard work of this year’s judges:

Ainslie McLaughlin – Director of Procurement and Commercial, Scottish Government

Nikki Bell – Head of Commercial Policy & Project Assurance, Scottish Government

Martin Street – Strategic Sourcing Director, NHS National Services Scotland

Hugh Carr – Head of Strategic Procurement, Scotland Excel

Stephen Richardson – Head of eSolutions & CIO, APUC Ltd

Eddie Regan – Principal Procurement Consultant, PASS

The judging panel had to select winners and highly commended entrants from organisations across Scotland in twelve categories. Winners were announced in the following categories:

GO Best Service Award: Medium & Large Organisations – Warmworks Scotland

GO Best Service Award: Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations – Re-Tek UK Ltd

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year Award – Transport Scotland (For entry: Forth Replacement Crossing)

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award: Taking the procurement function forward – University of Strathclyde, DHI, NHS NSS, Scottish Government

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Angus Council

GO Procurement Project of the &ear award (above £20m value) – Police Scotland

GO Procurement Project of the Year award (sub-£20m value) – Renfrewshire Council

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award: Central Government & Healthcare Organisations – NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award: Local Government & Other Organisations – University of Strathclyde

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award Other Organisations – University of Edinburgh

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award: Central Government & Local Authorities – Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management & Capability Team

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award – Scotland Excel

GO Excellence Scotland Award 2018/19 – Transport Scotland (For entry: Forth Replacement Crossing)

go awards tweets

The GO Awards Scotland Excellence Award was new for 2018/19 and, unlike the other categories, applicants cannot enter – as it recognises the very best overall submission drawn from each of the winners in this year’s Awards.

This category recognised the best of the best and the submission that most clearly demonstrated progress, innovation and achievement was the winner Transport Scotland for the Forth Replacement Crossing project.

When the Excellence Award was presented, Ms Renton praised the winner for all their effort:

“Congratulations to the team at Transport Scotland for their work on a now iconic Scottish structure. An outstanding achievement given the overall quality of this year’s Awards – a job very well done.”

Overall, the event was a tremendous success as guests also enjoyed a three-course meal and entertainment from celebrity magician Paul Martin.

Grahame Steed, Business Intelligence and eSourcing Director at BiP Solutions (event organiser) and GO Awards host, said:

“It’s been another tremendous year for the GO Awards Scotland, with many new entrants and returning organisations playing their part in driving up standards and innovation within public procurement. Well done to each of our finalists, and congratulations to those who have received one of the highly coveted GO Awards trophies – we look forward to even more competition next year!”

BiP would like to thank their event partner the Scottish Government and this year’s main event sponsors Orbis, Pertemps, Drummond Bridge, Pulsant and Simon Driscoll Consultancy Ltd.

To learn more about the National GO Awards National 2018/19, visit the GO Awards

BiP Solutions is GDPR and PECR Compliant


BiP and Compliance with GDPR and PECR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), effective from 25 May 2018, governs the processing of personal information.

Given the varied nature of data we process in support of customers’ activities, we have audited and updated our processes to ensure we comply with the requirements of GDPR. As a result, BiP operates in compliance with this new legislation.

GDPR does not require BiP customers to stop using or to change how they use our services, if what was being done before was lawful.

Read our full GDPR policy here

Our best look yet: Visit the new BiP Corporate website

As the leading provider of procurement support and intelligence it is important to us that our own website represents exactly what our business does.

Our business provides a range of unique online tools used by procurement professionals across the public and private sector. Innovation as at the heart of what we do, so why wouldn’t we start by making improvements to our core company website?

30 years in the making…

A lot has changed since we started over 30 years ago. The BiP brand has expanded recently with the acquisition of Promark and Ingenium, and the new and improved website reflects this, with areas focused on:

  • Business Intelligence
  • eSourcing
  • Accreditation
  • Events/Consultancy
  • Media and Marketing Solutions
  • eProcurement & Supply Chain Services

Users entering the BiP Corporate website can now instantly access the area which is the most relevant to them in just a couple of clicks!

Still passionate about what we do

The people behind our business have passion for what we do and are determined always to exceed customer expectations through constant innovation. Several months, drafts and small details later, our team has arrived at the final result!

Employees across the business have worked hard on the new website, ensuring that website content and functionality run seamlessly.

The new website not only offers an enhanced user journey but also gives those using the site access to the most accurate information from experts in the field.

Tell us what you think!

BiP has always valued the feedback of our customers, business partners and employees and we always will! That is why our team invite you to view the new and improved BiP website.

We aim to create an online space which is both welcoming and user friendly, somewhere that our valued customers, partners and employees can access information about our business whenever they require it.

If you would like to share your opinions on the new website with us, contact us via email at info@bipsolutions.com.

Keep in touch

We are constantly updating our news and resources section. Our in-house content creators can help you stay up to date with all the most important procurement news not just in the UK but across the world.

Welcome to BiP – Supply2Gov Ireland

Supply2Gov Ireland

Supply2Gov Ireland, which launched last week, aims to help Irish businesses win tenders in Ireland and expand into the UK market.

Simon Burges, BiP Chief Executive Officer, is delighted to release the latest BiP brand:

“There has never been a better time to consider working with public sector. The launch of the free to register Supply2Gov Ireland service provides small and micro businesses and sole traders with an unprecedented opportunity to access thousands of public procurement opportunities from across Ireland, in addition to being able to connect directly with the UK public sector, valued at over €270 billion annually.”

The Supply2Gov subscription levels give customers the freedom to pick and mix the tender plans that are right for their business.

Users can start with the FREE Ready To Take Flight subscription. This will give them access to tenders from the Irish local area of their choice!

Would you like to access the €12 billion the Irish government spends every year on goods and services? Sign up to Supply2Gov Ireland today!

Procurex Ireland

Supply2Gov Ireland will be attending the Procurex Ireland event at RDS Dublin on 26 April 2018. BiP CEO Simon Burges notes:

“The expansion of the S2G service within Ireland further supports and demonstrates our growth ambitions moving forward, especially within Ireland.”

Tickets for the Procurex Ireland 2018 showcase are FREE for public sector delegates and cost just €95 for the private sector.

About BiP Solutions

BiP Solutions is a leading provider of business intelligence services for organisations of all sizes. With over 30 years’ experience working with both buyers and suppliers, BiP helps businesses to identify and win contracts with both the public and private sector.

BiP brands include the Tracker business intelligence service and Delta eSourcing solution for public sector buyers, as well as Defence Contracts International (DCI), training and consultancy provider PASS Procurement and a procurement-related events portfolio covering defence, health and the wider public sector.

For more information on the BiP Group, please visit www.bipsolutions.com.

For additional information, please contact:

Melissa Russell

Supply2Gov Senior Marketing Executive


Micro businesses register with new tender alerts service Supply2Gov

It has been over a week since we launched our new brand Supply2Gov. The tender alerts service for sole traders and micro businesses aims to make the public sector marketplace more accessible to smaller businesses.

Registration for the new service is currently free. If you want to find out more, we have all the details below.

Designed for micro and small businesses

Supply2Gov is a fresh and friendly brand that talks to micro and small businesses about the benefits of public procurement. Supply2Gov users can create new and lucrative revenue streams from the public sector supply chain.

With a modern look and feel, Supply2Gov can be a free and easy way for micro businesses to find more tender opportunities. Our application simplifies the whole registration process and presents an intuitive customer journey.

Flexible payment options

Completely new to the market, Supply2Gov tender alerts gives customers the option to ‘pay as they grow’, with a cost-effective monthly plan as well as a new biannual option.

This means customers have the scalability to work with a solution that’s aligned with their business model and suits their cash flow.

Coverage Options

BiP has introduced simplified and comprehensive coverage options, with Supply2Gov starting with free local area coverage and then moving directly to home country cover.

This gives customers full free access to relevant opportunities on their doorstep with the option to upgrade and access their regional market opportunity.

With more growth potential available and payment plans to support phased expansion, the new Supply2Gov is an excellent introductory solution for micro businesses and sole traders looking to break into the public sector marketplace.

Tender alerts for micro businesses

The team behind the brand are delighted with the final product and are excited to see that many sole traders and micro businesses are already interested in the tender alerts service.

Senior Marketing Executive Melissa Russell says: “Our team are all really excited to see Supply2Gov go to market and really kick off 2018.

“We know how time-consuming tender searches can be, especially if you’re a small business. That’s why we’ve made it as easy as possible for users to find procurement opportunities as soon as they become available.”

Reduce the amount of time your business spends on manual searching with Supply2Gov. Find out more about Supply2Gov and tender alerts on the brand’s website.

For a better insight into all our brands, visit our website.

BiP Group expands reach with new Manchester office

BiP Group expands reach with new Manchester office


The BiP Group, a leading provider of business intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, is pleased to announce the launch of its new North of England office in the Media City area of Manchester to accommodate the company’s continued growth.

The new building, named Pacific House, will be open for business on 22 May. It will house two of the BiP Group’s brands, Ingenium and Promark Media, which have been acquired over the last two years.

Ingenium, which employs 35 staff and was previously based in Stockport, is a specialist in lead generation, content creation, data, surveys and online events, with clients including BT, Capita, KPMG, Deloitte, Hays, Apple and IBM.

Promark Media, which employs 30 staff and was previously based in Chorley, is one of the UK’s leading construction media companies with an established portfolio of digital magazines and online channels.

The bringing together of these brands in one central location will support BiP Group’s ambitious growth plans for them; as well as providing a presence in the North of England for other BiP brands.

A modern, open and well-located office, Pacific House represents a significant investment for the BiP Group and underlines our confidence in the future of our Manchester-based businesses.

Simon Burges, CEO of the BiP Group, said:

 I am delighted to announce the launch of BiP’s new North of England office in the Media City area of Manchester.

“The decision to expand our business presence into Manchester, and bring both of our recent acquisitions into one central location, was the next logical step in our growth and development strategy.

“Media City is a business growth area and our new location in Manchester will provide an excellent opportunity to further develop and expand our footprint across the North of England.”

Grahame Steed, Managing Director of Media and Marketing Solutions at BiP said:

 This is an exciting opportunity and one that gives us the space to grow and develop these businesses; each of which has tremendous potential.”

Chambers of Commerce: Put practicality, certainty at the heart of Brexit negotiations

As the Chamber Network gathers in Westminster for the BCC Annual Conference, the British Chambers of Commerce has published a business blueprint for the UK government ahead of the upcoming Brexit negotiations.eu_jigsaw_5820193Med

Titled Business Brexit Priorities, the report synthesizes feedback from over 400 businesses at 16 Chamber-hosted focus groups, along with nearly 20,000 responses to Chamber surveys. It puts forward priorities for action across seven key areas where business communities want practical solutions and certainty.

BCC evidence confirms that Europe will remain a key market for UK exporters and importers well into the future. As a consequence, it is imperative that the government achieves a pragmatic UK-EU deal that facilitates continued trade.

The key recommendations in the report are:

  • On the Labour Market, the government should provide certainty for businesses on the residence rights of their existing EU workers, provide clarity on hiring from EU countries during the negotiation period, and avoid expensive and bureaucratic processes for post-Brexit hires from the EU
  • On Trade, the government should aim to minimise tariffs, seek to avoid costly non-tariff barriers, grandfather existing EU free trade agreements with third countries, and expand the trade mission programme
  • On Customs, the government should develop future customs procedures at the UK border in partnership with business, seek to maintain the UK’s position as an entry point for global businesses to Europe
  • On Tax, the government should guarantee that HMRC is appropriately resourced to help businesses through the transition process, and provide clarity on whether VAT legislation will continue to mirror current core VAT principles
  • On Regulation, the government should ensure stability by incorporating existing EU regulations into UK law and maintaining these for a minimum period following Brexit, and ensure that product standards are aligned with, and recognised by, the EU to keep UK products competitive
  • On EU funding, the government should maintain UK access to the European Investment Bank, and ensure there is no funding ‘cliff-edge’ for areas in receipt of EU funding
  • On Northern Ireland, the government must avoid any return to a hard border, so that businesses can move people and goods as freely as possible.

Commenting on the report, Adam Marshall, BCC Director General, said:

“Business communities across the UK want practical considerations, not ideology or politics, at the heart of the government’s approach to Brexit negotiations.

What’s debated in Westminster often isn’t what matters for most businesses. Most firms care little about the exact process for triggering Article 50, but they care a lot about an unexpected VAT hit to their cash flow, sudden changes to regulation, the inability to recruit the right people for the job, or if their products are stopped by customs authorities at the border. The everyday nitty-gritty of doing business across borders must be front and centre in the negotiation process.

What’s also clear is that the eventual Brexit deal is far from the only thing on the minds of the UK’s business communities. An ambitious domestic agenda for business and the economy is also essential so that business can drive our post-Brexit success. Firms across the UK want a clear assurance that Brexit isn’t going to be the only thing on the government’s economic agenda for the next few years.”

Submarines to support economic and community growth

Millions of pounds of investment in HMNB Clyde is set to bring jobs, transport, leisure and business growth opportunities to Helensburgh, with an agreement signed between the UK Government, Royal Navy and Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership. Government Opportunities

The MOD is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in developing HM Naval Base Clyde as the Royal Navy Submarine Centre of Specialisation.

This will see all UK attack submarines based in Argyll and Bute by 2020, and the eventual arrival of the Dreadnought class of ballistic submarines.

The development is expected to increase the number of personnel at HMNB Clyde to an eventual population of 8,200, with many choosing to live in the area.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today will see the signatories work together in delivering infrastructure and opportunities for Royal Navy families and local people to live, work and prosper together.

Witnessing the signing was Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell, who said:

“The UK’s entire submarine fleet will be based at Faslane by 2020. This will reinforce Scotland’s vital role in protecting our country, and guarantee skilled, secure jobs on the Clyde for years to come.

We must ensure this investment in the base is also a catalyst for growth and regeneration in the wider community. Today’s agreement will deliver new housing and improved infrastructure, ensuring people in Argyll and Bute benefit directly from hosting the base.”

Efficiency Review to drive productive public services

The Efficiency Review will take a strategic look at how government delivers services across the whole public sector, looking for opportunities to make improvements and drive value for money. coins_8740904Lge

Putting the public finances on a sustainable path is vital to securing a strong and stable economy, and the government will ensure it is delivering value for money while maintaining its commitments on public spending in this Parliament.

The review, which was announced at Budget 2016, will generate £3.5 billion of savings in 2019 to 20, with up to £1 billion to be reinvested in priority areas.

Government departments have been commissioned to begin drawing up proposals for contributions by modelling scenarios of 3% and 6% savings.

This is part of an ongoing commitment to modern, flexible public services that deliver the best value for money for taxpayers.

The NHS and core schools budgets are protected and do not come under the scope of the review. The government also recognises the important role that social care spending plays and so efficiencies found within local government will be used to help meet existing pressures.

The government will also maintain its commitment to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defence and for the defence budget to rise by 0.5% above inflation each year of this Parliament.

An update will be provided in autumn 2017.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke and Ben Gummer, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, have commissioned the work and it will be aligned with a refresh of Single Departmental Plans, so that departments can consider savings options in the context of their business planning.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:

“We are committed to a modern, high-quality public sector that delivers the services people need in the most efficient way possible. There has been considerable progress, but there is further to go and the whole of government is working together to consider how we can live within our means while delivering maximum value for every pound of taxpayers money.”