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GO Awards Scotland 2019/20: Celebrating Procurement Success in Style

GO Awards Scotland 2019/20: Celebrating Procurement Success in Style

This year’s GO Awards Scotland presentation took place on 29 October at the Marriott Hotel, Glasgow, celebrating the best in all aspects of public procurement in Scotland.

Celebrating Scottish Innovation

Malcolm Harrison and Nikki Archer interviewed by Rona Dougall at the GO Awards Procurement Excellence Live Stage

The Awards ceremony itself, as part of the Scottish Festival of Procurement, was preceded by the 15th Annual Scottish Government National Procurement Conference and Procurex Scotland, taking place at the SEC Glasgow on the same day. A major focus of the day was the unique innovations that set Scottish procurement apart – exactly what the GO Awards celebrate.

Procurex Scotland included the GO Awards Procurement Excellence Live Stage, hosted by Scotland Tonight host Rona Dougall. After a joint interview with Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, and Nikki Archer, Head of Procurement and Commercial Policy & Strategy and Head of Procurement Profession at the Scottish Government, several of this year’s GO Awards Scotland finalists were interviewed onstage to describe the innovations that had led our judges to name them as finalists. Finalists interviewed included APS Group, Police Scotland, and Scotland Excel and Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company. There was also a ‘one year on’ interview with Lawrence Shackman from Transport Scotland, winners of last year’s GO Awards Scotland GO Excellence Award. Mr Shackman described the GO Awards as “a really fun Awards ceremony. I’ve been to other awards and nothing really compares!”

The GO Awards Scotland Presentation Ceremony

The evening presentation ceremony kicked off in style, with a black-tie champagne reception before guests were welcomed by a traditional piper. Presenter Rona Dougall welcomed guests before the official opening address from Ainslie McLaughlin, Director of Scottish Procurement and Commercial at the Scottish Government. Guests were then introduced to the work of the GO Awards official charity partner, the Realising Dreams Foundation.

Over the course of the evening, across 11 categories, awards were presented to 11 winners and seven Highly Commended entrants. The full list of Winners and Highly Commended entrants is available here.

The Awards presentation culminated with the GO Excellence Award. Unlike other awards, organisations cannot enter this category; instead, nominees are chosen directly by the GO Awards judging panel from among the rest of the evening’s winners. With an especially strong crop of entries this year, finalists for the GO Excellence Award were Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd and the University of Glasgow; Child Bereavement UK; and APS Group (Scotland) Ltd. While all these entries were outstanding, the overall winner was the team from Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd and the University of Glasgow, for their campus development work and its focus on integrating social value and community benefit into the project.

Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd and University of Glasgow – celebrating in style!

After the Awards, the festivities continued with entertainment from two-time Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist Ray Bradshaw, performing simultaneously in English and British Sign Language, and the results of the Realising Dreams Foundation charity raffle, which saw the top prizes of a signed Scotland football shirt and an overnight stay at the Marriott Hotel raise hundreds of pounds for the charity, helping to support the dreams of many talented young people.

Comedian Ray Bradshaw had the audience laughing

What’s Next?

Congratulations once again to all finalists, and especially to all Award winners. Many of the fascinating stories behind some of the evening’s winning entries will be available on our Winners’ Journeys page soon – be sure to visit the page to learn more about their innovations, achievements and best practice examples.

All GO Awards Scotland Winners qualify for automatic finalist status at the GO Awards National, to be held on 22 April at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham. The GO Awards National bring together winners from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with new entries from across the UK. Entries will open soon – why not share your procurement success story?

Congratulations to all this year’s Award winners!


Photographs 1, 2, 3, 5:

This year’s finalists: Scotland Excel, Scottish Government and Hey Girls

This year’s finalists: Scotland Excel, Scottish Government and Hey Girls

In the run-up to the GO Awards Scotland, taking place on 29th October at the Marriott Hotel, Glasgow, we’ll be profiling some of our finalists to celebrate the diversity and strength of the entries to this year’s Awards.

Here, we hear from Julie Welsh, Director at Scotland Excel, about the entry from Scotland Excel, Scottish Government and Hey Girls in the ‘Team of Year Award’ category.

  • Can you summarise the aims and scope of the project and how it took shape?

The project was conceived to support the Scottish Government’s initial £5.2m commitment to providing period dignity to people in education in Scotland. The Scottish Government thoroughly researched the issues including identifying the potential need for free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities, and turned to Scotland Excel to find the most expedient and cost-effective product supply mechanism.

Scotland Excel identified that there was an opportunity to add an extra lot to its Washroom Solutions framework and mobilised to engage with suppliers. Hey Girls, an East Lothian-based social enterprise, responded to the call for the provision of sanitary products through Lot 2 and were awarded the contract – along with three others – in October 2018. The vast majority of spend on the framework was with Hey Girls and their innovative approach to ending period poverty.

  • What were some of the major challenges involved in the project, and how were these overcome?

The biggest challenge was time – there was a 13-month timeframe. The Scottish Government made a commitment to introduce free sanitary products in educational establishments in the 2017/18 Programme for Government. The Scottish Government approached Scotland Excel, which involved its Washroom Solutions User Intelligence Group to create a second lot and then went out to market – all within a couple of months. Other challenges included being mindful of the sensitivity around this subject – especially around dispensing mechanisms, which were designed to avoid any embarrassment that users might feel in openly accessing free supplies.

  • What motivated you to enter this project for the ‘Team of the Year’ Award?

The scope of the project and the sheer will to make it happen prompted us to enter the Team category. The three different elements of this team were not under one roof, but instead had to use their individual strengths to deliver a workable, expedient response to ministerial ambitions. The collaboration was forged around a commitment to support equality, dignity and rights for those who menstruate and to ensure that lack of access to products does not impact on an individual’s ability to fully participate in education.

  • What would winning a GO Award mean to you?

It would mean the world to all of us to have our work on this recognised, but also to raise awareness of this important issue.