Scottish ferry services' procurement, post-Brexit : challenge or opportunity?

Findlay, Jeanette and Thomas, Dania (2017) Scottish ferry services' procurement, post-Brexit : challenge or opportunity? Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 41 (1). pp. 71-81. ISSN 2046-5378

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In the context of a very uncertain legal and constitutional future, the issue of lifeline ferry service provision in Scotland is considered. Some unintended, and negative, consequences of competitive tendering are set out, focussing particularly on the impact of tendering on the Scottish Government’s Fair Work policy and the necessity to reduce carbon emissions. The range of possible constitutional and legal backdrops against which Scottish ferry services will be provided in the future are analysed in terms of the consequences for achieving these objectives and a road map is constructed. EU and Scottish public procurement legislation is described and their similarities are highlighted. Should competitive tendering ultimately be deemed no longer necessary, the need to develop a suitable regulatory regime for a public sector monopoly provider is noted. In an alternative scenario, where tendering continues, it is proposed that the use of Community Benefit clauses, as well as other legal instruments, could be used to align the outcomes of competitive tendering with specified economic and environmental objectives.