Brodies has helped Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils comply with new procurement regulations by providing a method of maintaining a central register of contracts for both local authorities using its BOrganised contract management system.

Under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, which came into force in April 2016, public bodies are obliged to maintain a contract register and publish key information from the register online as a statement of current and future opportunities for commercial partners.

Using BOrganised, a secure, online contract management service developed by Brodies lawyers, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils have created a joint central register that allows them to meet their obligations under the Act.

Both local authorities can:

•    see all their contractual agreements in one location, allowing them to take the appropriate action at the right time, and avoid missing important dates and deadlines;
•    put controls in place to make sure their policies and procedures are being followed; and
•    ensure that they are getting the best value out of their contracts in challenging times for public finances.

The flexible contract management system has been tailored to the needs of both councils to make it easier for them to export information from BOrganised to create the contracts register required under the Act. In addition, BOrganised has been configured to identify separate and shared services, as well as contracts with national bodies.

With Brodies’ support, active contracts administered by the local authorities were imported directly into BOrganised in a matter of weeks to form the baseline contract data from which the register information was based.  The system is easily administered by the councils thereafter, whereby “delegated users” access and update in real-time from the start of the procurement process.

BOrganised is an effective system of internal control, helping organisations manage risk and costs, and allowing them to respond to change more easily. The additional benefit for public sector bodies is the ability to produce a contracts register quickly and easily.

Carol Wright, Business & Procurement Improvement Manager at Aberdeen City Council, said:

“Aberdeen City Council operates a shared service with Aberdeenshire Council for procurement, managing a combined annual budget of £500 million. Our ambition is to be a centre of excellence for public procurement and using BOrganised is helping us achieve this goal, as well as meet our regulatory obligations.

“BOrganised will provide us with a complete picture of all of the contractual relationships Aberdeen City and Shire councils have entered into, allowing us to work collaboratively at national, regional and local levels to deliver value to our communities. The service is easy to use and it has been designed so that we can customise the information we record about our contracts.

“We’ve had great support from the team at Brodies from initial set up through to the import of our contract information, and I would not hesitate to recommend the service to any organisation that is considering implementing a contract management solution.”