Scottish Borders Council is taking its procurement options seriously.

Research for the Federation of Small Businesses last year found the council is looking to maximise the procurement spend in its area and see it as a key strategy issue.

It spends £104m a year, and is one of the councils which publishes the proportion it spends with organisations within its boundaries. In 2012/13 that was 31 per cent, higher than the 27 per cent Scottish average. The FSB says it is critical councils and other agencies treat that information as important. Senior adviser Stuart Mackinnon said: "There are provisions in the bill for annual reporting, but will it be buried at the bottom of a release on a Friday afternoon? One of the results we want is that how our public bodies spend our money becomes something we all discuss more regularly."

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