Procurement News – Europe

Sustainable Public Procurement Portal in Catalunya

July 2 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

The web portal begins its journey

Ecoinstitut has launched the web portal, an entry point where Catalan public authorities can find their way to the most relevant resources available to safely implement SPP in the region.

The portal provides responses to the main questions of concern for decision-makers and practitioners for the introduction of socio-environmental concerns in public procurement – such as: if it’s legal, if it’s more expensive, if there are resources and support structures to help in the process, etc.

It does so by providing information and pointing to key resources from relevant organisations. Among others you can find:

Arguments to support SPP at the decission-making level,Useful resources and support structures to implement SPP in al its facets, specially for the introduction of sustainability criteria in tendering processes,Repositories of products and services with socio-environmental attributes to know a bit better the market, orGood examples and practices to learn from others.

Almost all the resources are in Catalan or Spanish to minimise language barriers to SPP, and it will be expanded periodically to cover new and relevant information, materials and examples that appear regularly.

The portal has been developed thanks to the EU-funded project GPP2020 and will be kept up-to-date even after the end of the project as a permanent suport structure.

To reach it, just go to:  

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Innovation procurement and the MOD UK

June 29 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

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Strengthening the Serbian public procurement system

June 27 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

There has been a lot of resentment and uproar among users of the public procurement in Serbia, but the Public Procurement Office has been improving the system, introducing more transparency in the spending of public funds.

Effective public procurement at all levels is a key to the development of both a resilient democracy and a competitive economy in Serbia. The latest EU report on the country’s progress towards the Union has dubbed the area of public procurement as “moderately advanced”. While the report hailed progress in the field, it noted that the capacity of the country’s Public Procurement Office (PPO) needs to be strengthened further and that the national strategy and action plan for upgrading the public procurement system remain to be updated.

It all started in late 2002 under the late PM Zoran Djindjic, when the first Law on public procurement entered into force and the PPO was established as an independent governmental agency. The aim of the institution was to help the establishment of sound procurement procedures and practices, ensuring that public funds are spent in an efficient and transparent way, thus complementing government’s overall drive in fighting corruption. 

Mr. Predrag Jovanovic was elected to head the newly formed institution, given his previous experience in the field with NGOs — European Movement and Transparency Serbia. “I still remember that day when I had a paper on founding the Office in my hands, with no office, no stamp or people with me,” Jovanovic recalls. “It was one man in the decentralised system of 10,000 contracting authorities.” So, he started making a team and developing mechanisms to implement the law from the scratch. 

According to Jovanovic, there were two main challenges they have been facing ever since the beginning: the tendency to avoid public tenders and poor administrative capacities of the PPO.

“People were oriented towards either being exempt from the application of the law or to go to a negotiated procedure without public announcement,” say Jovanovic. He is referring to emergency situations, when, under Serbian Public Procurement rules, direct negotiations are allowed. “Many situations have been classified as emergency. But, if you need a new heating system as winter is just around the corner, this cannot be classified as emergency, as we all knew that the winter was coming,” Jovanovic explains.

The Agency found that in 2012, 28 per cent of the total procurement value was contracted in non-competitive, negotiated procedure, while in 2014, this figure dropped to only 5 per cent, which is in line with European standards. In addition to this, open procedure participated with 56 in the total value of procurement in 2012, while in 2014, the share soared to 85 per cent. 

In the Office of 23 people at the moment, the lack of capacities to serve the entire country still remains a problem. Jovanovic says that the number of employees should be increased to 36. There are only two telephone lines for consultancy in the area of public procurement for a whole country. Therefore, one of the main goals of the Office now is to assist to cities, regional centers to upgrade their expertise in public procurement which would enable them to assist other municipalities. This would mean to build and strengthen agencies in local municipalities to deal with public procurements on a competent and professional manner.  “Even if there are hundreds of us sitting in Belgrade, it is not good to have one advisory body on 10,000 contracting authorities. We need to develop more “centers of excellences” through Serbia,” Jovanovic noted. He expressed his hope that by 2018, Serbia will achieve this goal. 

An important step in this direction is the Agency’s continuous professionalisation and licensing of public procurement officials. So far, there are over 2,000 certified public procurement officials working across Serbia. This is an area in which the Office has been supported by the Norwegian embassy through a project, coordinated by UNDP.

Meanwhile, in order to make the entire process more transparent, the Office is proud of its portal of public procurement. There one can find all the necessary information (contract, tender documentation, decision of the Commission for Protection of Competition, if any etc.) related to each case. “We only need plans for procurement to have completed files for each case, but we hope to include this soon, once changes to the Law are adopted,” adds Jovanovic. People seem to find this data base useful, as in the last quarter of 2014, it had 500,000 visits.

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American teachers to train Romanian officials on public procurement

June 22 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will train over 50 Romanian officials on obtaining best value and incorporating life cycle cost analysis in public procurement procedures. The Romanian officials will attend a three-day workshop taught by teachers from the George Washington University, according to a USTDA statement.

The training will be organized under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the American Trade and Development Agency and the Romanian Government on June 17.

“An efficient public procurement system is vital to achieving sustained economic growth and development, while supporting businesses. Ultimately, it comes down to implementation. You can have the best policy in place, but it doesn’t mean much if the capability to implement is not there,” said U.S. Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson, at the signing event.

“Public procurement is an essential part of establishing the rule of law for both the economy and its institutions, ensuring Romania’s sustained growth and fighting corruption,” he added.

“The experience and expertise brought by USTDA and George Washington University are important for improving the skills of Romanian specialists in better implementing the best value approach in public procurement.  We look forward to continuing our joint efforts,” said Radu Puchiu, Secretary of State of the Romanian Government’s Chancellery.

The workshop will support the Romanian Government’s goal of building the capacity of procurement staff and demonstrating positive results in public procurement, reads the statement.

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Green Public Procurement Newsletter – June 2015

June 16 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

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  • I felt the meeting was very informative as time flew by and the presenters delivered a clear understanding on how tenders work and the exercises had made...

    Nizar Gtari
  • I had attended a previous workshop and found that this was a useful update and lead to a greater understanding of the emphasis the institutions setting...

  • Very informative, interesting and enjoyable

    Matthew Clake
  • Having attended the basic workshop I was very keen on the advanced one. I very much enjoyed the morning and learnt a lot- thank you.

    Simon Wood Power
  • A very useful and interesting few hours! Glad I attended the workshop and would thoroughly recommend it to others. I must
    say that I thought Toni...

  • Nothing but praise – I was unsure what to expect as this was a free workshop but was pleasantly surprised at the quality and content.

  • Very good workshop. Covered a lot of information in the time available. It was interesting to hear how the councils assess applications, the weightings...

    Christine Harris – Mango Data Systems
  • Well presented, with a nice balance between the two presenters, both of whom obviously knew their subject. Very useful.

  • Having been to numerous workshops and presentations in the past, I was really impressed with the content and delivery of this particular event. At three...

    Steve Nicoll
  • I felt that the whole event was well presented and engaging.

    Andy Fairclough
  • Good afternoon,
    As you know I travelled “many miles” but truly felt it was extremely worthwhile. The whole course was engaging , applicable...

    Karen Winrow
  • “Very well structured and informative event. Really useful introduction for those serious about tendering for public sector opportunities.”...

    John White, MD, 4T2 Multimedia
  • Enjoyed the workshop very much and feel much more confident on the subject – thank you.

    Jackie Cotterill-Clark, Mobile Media Ltd
  • I found the course very interesting and helpful in my current role. Particularly how to be precise when planning and writing a tender.

    Sheila Shutler
  • Found the unveiling of the on-line labyrinthine publication of public tenders most informative and helpful!

    Graham Wilson

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