The APUC eSolutions team provide sector support for a range of tools provided by the Scottish Government's eCommerce shared service as well as developing and supporting specific tools in use across the sector.
- Scottish Government electronic invoicing solution
- PCM (PECOS Content Manager)
- Contract Uptake website
- Supplier MI website
- Spikes Hub
- APUC Buyers Portal
PCS-TenderPublic Contracts Scotland-Tender (PCS-T), provided by JAGGAER, compliments Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) site by providing buying organisations with a set of web-based collaborative procurement tools which include eTendering, eEvaluation and eAuction functionality whilst also increasing collaborative working practices. This allows Buyers to communicate securely with both their suppliers and stakeholders throughout the procurement lifecycle. This has been closely aligned to best professional practice, encompassed within the Procurement Journey to ensure that best practice is embedded and that a consistent and standard process is followed in line with EU regulations.
PCS-Tender also includes a set of nationally agreed questions by using the ESPD which assists in reducing the inconsistency in the selection process. It is mandatory to use the ESPD (Scotland) for all Route 3 procurements which began on 18 April 2016. This helps to simplify processes especially for SMEs. It reduces duplication of effort, increases efficiency in business administration, reduces disproportionate qualification requirements and inconsistent qualification criteria. PCS-T requires Buyers to have completed a 2 day training course before using the system. If you are interested in completing the training course, please contact the APUC Helpdesk.
AwardThe AWARD e-Evaluation software provided by Commerce Decisions used by a number of APUC member organisations is a collaborative web-based software solution designed specifically to support strategic procurement projects. AWARD delivers a powerful document management capability supporting and enhancing the tender management process to deliver greater control and transparent audit trail, underpinning bidder debriefing process and managing challenges to the procurement outcome.
AWARD is proven to reduce time to contract, improve value for money and reduce risk and is in use across a range of sectors including central, local and regional government, utilities, transport, healthcare, aerospace and defence covering a broad range of activities including the provision of schools, hospitals, transport and defence systems.
eCommerceAPUC supports two eProcurement platforms (PECOS and Proactis) in use across the sector
PECOSThe PECOS purchase-to-pay (P2P) eProcurement system is a well-established, robust and user-friendly interface which can be integrated directly with finance systems. To date, the PECOS roll-out has integrated with eleven different finance systems in use across institutions.
Using PECOS P2P colleges and universities are able to reduce the paperwork and inefficiencies associated with paper processing of purchase requisitions, purchase orders, goods receipts, invoices and returns. They are also able to increase compliance and accountability for spend through the use of: contract catalogue content published and managed by APUC, flexible workflows and business rules which drive procurement controls, multi-level electronic routing, management of approvals and tracking of spend against budgets.
PECOS transmits supplier orders in multiple formats and can receive electronic invoices.
ProactisProactis is a cloud based eMarketplace provided on commercial terms by Proactis that enables college and university users to buy quickly and easily from the suppliers you want them to use ensuring compliance to negotiated contracts. It is not part of the Scottish Government's eCommerce Shared Service. APUC contract catalogue content is published into the Proactis eMarketplace for use by colleges and universities. Proactis is an alternative to PECOS P2P when approvals are required to be managed in the finance system.
Users can shop from authorised marketplace suppliers with the convenience of a single shopping basket. They can also compare products easily, enabling savings where alternatives offer better value.
Scottish Government electronic invoicing solutionIn July 2014, Scottish Procurement advised that the EU Directive for Electronic Invoicing in Public Procurement came into force on 26 May 2014 and was implemented into national law by amendment to the Scottish Regulations on 18th April 2019 (Transposition of the EU Electronic Invoicing Directive.) While central government and the NHS must comply by this deadline, other public bodies have a further 12 months to meet the EU eInvoicing Directive.
Who does it apply to?
The Directive requires contracting authorities to be able to receive eInvoices and make payment electronically for all contracts regulated under the EU Procurement Directives (all OJEU contracts & suppliers on OJEU agreements).
What do contracting authorities need to do?
Contracting authorities must comply with the EU Directive for Electronic Invoicing within the appropriate timescales above. To meet these you need to ask yourself:-
- If your organisation has an eInvoicing solution in place, ensure that this is compliant with the Directives (e.g. invoices are processed without any manual intervention)
- If your organisation is not compliant and have no eInvoicing capability, what plans do you have in place to comply with the EU Directive?
- Do your current invoice processes lend themselves to adopting an eInvoicing solution? If not, have you identified what needs to change (e.g. processes, technology)
- Will the Scottish Government eInvoicing solution work for our organisation?
The Scottish Government eInvoicing Solution ?
The Scottish Government's eInvoicing solution is available to all public sector bodies in Scotland. The solution accepts a range of invoice formats that can be automatically processed for matching and payment. It provides an easy, consistent and standard platform for suppliers to the public sector. The solution is fully compliant with the requirements of the published EU Directive on eInvoicing in Public Procurement and there are no costs and no technology changes for suppliers to issue invoices using the system.
The eInvoicing facility went live in September 2014 after being piloted by West Lothian Council. Since then, it has been successfully implemented eInvoicing with over 15 contracting authorities and the Scottish Government is actively engaging with a range of organisations across the public sector. To date, over half a millions invoices have been processed and over 100 suppliers have been or are being adopted. Furthermore, the Scottish Government is continuing to engage with other suppliers. Across a number of projects in the HE/FE sector in Scotland, the Scottish Government & APUC are currently providing support & guidance to contracting authorities regarding implementing eInvoicing.
How Do I Find Out More?
If you would like to register your organisations interest in introducing eInvoicing or have any questions about this project please contact the APUC Helpdesk.
PCM (PECOS Content Manager)PCM is a system hosting electronic catalogues for contracts at national, sectoral and local level. It increases compliance to contracts, drives out appropriate contract management information and embeds standard procedures and processes. The system allows APUC to manage the upload, validation, approval and automatic publication of electronic catalogues for use by colleges and universities. Catalogues are directly uploaded onto PECOS without further manual intervention. PCM also allows for the output of catalogue files for publication onto Proactis. The system is available to PECOS & non-PECOS institutions either to download APUC content and/or to validate local content.
PCM has the functionality to send alerts within the system to notify users of catalogues nearing expiry date.
APUC's Electronic Content Register can be found at this link. It Provides a list of framework suppliers where content is available for inclusion in eProcurement solutions.
HunterHunter has been developed by the eSolutions team. It is a database solution which uses standard Microsoft packages (Access and SQL Server) enabling organisations to effectively monitor and report on collaborative contracting activities.
As a solution, it is operational within the HE/FE sector in Scotland and is also being utilised by the HE consortia in England and Wales that also provide collaborative contracting services to the sector. Hunter has a multi-level structure which allows consortia to share collaborative agreements, make them visible to their member organisations, and in turn enabling them to record their own contracts.