Do you know about Scotland Excel? Its vision is: 'to be recognised, respected and trusted by local authorities and suppliers as the leading procurement organisation in Scotland'. It was created on 1 April 2008 as a non-profit-making organisation funded mainly by participating local authorities. Renfrewshire council is the lead authority for Scotland Excel.
I did not realise we had such an organisation in Scotland but I can understand having an umbrella structure to collate purchasing requirements for councils. This ought to save bundles of money because councils would not require the considerable staff they carry for the job.
So far so good.
Another question - have you ever heard of a country which tenders another country for the supply of of its school and library books?
A furious row has developed over moves, by Scotland Excel, which could see that occurring. The move would take £40m out of the Scottish economy over the next two years and seriously damage businesses in Scotland.
High Andrew, managing director of Birlinn Publishing in Edinburgh, is urging the industry to lobby the Government. He wants the SNP to intervene to prevent changes from the present system, whereby schools and libraries can purchase from local businesses, to being forced to buy from major suppliers.
He said: "The size of the contracts means there are only two realistic bidders, both are in England. Suppliers who win the contracts will be awarded a monopoly and could then turn on publishers to massively enhance the discounts they receive from them.
"This substantially affects our ability to operate successfully.
"The effects on the struggling independent bookshop sector will be substantial and negative."
Several local authorities are set to start receiving books through the process from August with others joining when current supply contracts end. Only four councils are not members of Scotland Excel, but are expected to join.
Robin Harper MSP, who was alerted by a librarian constituent, says it is "horrendous". He intends to put down a motion in the Scottish Parliament this week slamming the situation.
A Scottish government spokesman said: "This is a matter for Scotland Excel."
It is not a matter for Scotland Excel if there is such a serious dispute which cannot be resolved between the two parties concerned. It is a matter for government. Alex Salmond says he wants to discuss growing the economy. Is giving away £40m going to help with economic growth?
Whoever in Scotland Excel had the bright idea of changing the purchasing rules to the degree that no Scottish business was able to tender, should return to school and learn about economics. To deduct £40m from the economy to make a few millions in savings is nonsensical.
Many small bookshops survive only because their owners love books and want to share that with others, such as myself. Few, if any, make a living which could in any way be called luxurious. For some, without the stability of supplying local schools and libraries, their businesses will no longer be viable.
I will be keeping a close watch on the response to Mr Harper's motion.