Procurement News – Europe

How will the UK implement the new public procurement directive?

July 24 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

The Cabinet Office has indicated that it intends to follow a ‘copy out’ approach to implementing the new Public Procurement Directive (Directive 2014/24) in the UK with the aim of implementing the Directive by early 2015. The UK legislation will therefore reflect much more closely the European wording than it has done previously. Notwithstanding this approach, which the Cabinet Office has adopted partly in the interests of implementing the Directive as quickly as possible, there are a number of decisions that the Cabinet Office will have to make in transposing the Directive.  

Our team at Bird & Bird has identified the choices that the Cabinet Office will have to make and sought to identify the Cabinet Office’s likely approach using the public policy notes issued to date, available discussion papers that were issued to the public sector towards the end of last year, and in some cases some educated best guesses. Our views on the likely UK approach to implementation of these decisions are set out in the table below and reflect the position as at 1 July 2014. 

Whilst the Cabinet Office has played down the number of decisions that are to be taken, in fact some of them will have an important impact on the shape of the new regime.  For example:

‘appropriate national rules’ must be developed and implemented for the procurement of ‘light touch’ services (which are largely those that are currently Part B services);the new Directive provides that authorities may exclude bidders for poor past performance – the Cabinet Office must decide the maximum time limit for taking that past performance into account;there are important decisions to be made as to how sub-contracting of public contracts will be dealt with going forward; andthe Cabinet Office must develop and implement new rules relating to avoiding conflicts of interest.

We are expecting that a formal consultation on the Directive should be issued either just before or just after the summer break. That will be an opportunity for those who are affected by the changes to shape the thinking that the Cabinet Office has already undertaken. 



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British farmers to benefit from public procurement plan – MeatInfo

July 23 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced a potential £400m boost for British food businesses in a move that has been backed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).


Cameron told an audience at the Royal Welsh Show today (21 July) that as of 2017 the English public sector will be committed to buying fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food in what is called the Plan for Public Procurement. The public sector currently spends £1.2bn on food and drink, £600m of which is imported produce and, according to the government, £400m of which could be sourced in the UK.

Cameron stated: “Our long-term economic plan is all about backing the do-ers and the hard-workers – and no one does more or works as hard in Britain today than our farmers. By opening up these contracts, we can help them create more jobs, invest in their businesses and make sure people in our country have a healthier lifestyle. It’s a triple win – and will mean a brighter future for our country.”

Public sector buyers will now judge potential suppliers against five key criteria: how food is produced and whether the food was produced locally; the health and nutritional content of food purchased; the resource efficiency of producing the food, such as water and energy use and waste production; how far the food bought meets government’s socio-economic priorities such as involvement of SMES; and quality of service and value for money.

The Plan for Public Procurement states that central government will open up £200m with “the expectation” the rest of the public sector, including schools and hospitals, will also use the criteria. 

Newly appointed environment secretary Elizabeth Truss added: “This move will mean that food served in canteens across the public sector can be more local, seasonal and tastier.”

The plan, based on research by Dr Peter Bonfield’s review into public produce procurement, was applauded by the NFU who have been calling for retailers to promote British beef and lamb. 

The NFU said it was “delighted” with the news. “We applaud the work that Dr Peter Bonfield has done to develop a new architecture for public sector procurement that aims to put more British food on public sector plates. That aim, to grow the amount of locally sourced food and drink, chimes with our own wider aspiration of growing the British farming industry,” said NFU Deputy President Minette Batters.

“Of course saying that more British food is sourced to our standards of production is one thing. To ensure that this happens on the ground, it’s important that public sector buyers and caterers know that they can easily meet the plans aims by simply sourcing food to Red Tractor standards, the widely recognised mark of British food production standards,” Batters concluded.

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Croatia makes considerable progress in defence procurement transparency – Current Events – Croatia –

July 22 in by eisc No Comments

Although the defence budget is still not detailed enough, especially when it comes to companies owned by the military, Croatia has nevertheless made significant progress in ensuring transparency in defence procurement and ranks in the middle of EU countries, a conference on the transparency of public procurement in the defence system said in Zagreb on Friday.

The head of the Defence Ministry Department for Public Procurement, Branko Pribolsan, said that the number of classified items of defence procurement had been reduced from 50-60% two years ago to 5.7% of all items this year.

Classified items mostly relate to communications equipment, weapons and ammunition, he explained, adding that the ministry needs to ask for the approval of the parliamentary Defence Committee for any procurement exceeding five million euros.

As for inexpensive procurement contracts, for which public tendering is not required, Pribolsan said that such contracts were subject to stricter criteria than procurement by tendering. He said that last year such contracts accounted for 1% of all procurement by the Defence Ministry, and that the ministry tried to engage in all procurement projects as many business entities with security certificates as possible.

“We have prevented corruption to the maximum extent possible. Everyone is doing their job and no one can influence other participants in the procurement process,” Pribolsan said.

The chairman of the parliamentary Defence Committee, Tomislav Ivic, concurred, but warned that the continued reduction of the defence budget, which this year is as much as 100 million euros smaller than in 2011, made the execution of goals set out in strategic defence documents impossible.

Ivic said that significant steps had been taken to ensure transparent procurement in the defence system, praising the Defence Ministry for its regular reports on public procurement plans for the next year, a practice introduced two years ago.

Leah Wawro of Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme said that Croatia was among countries with a moderate risk of corruption in the defence sector. She warned that the defence budget was insufficiently detailed, that there was a lack of transparency with respect to companies owned by the military and the present legislation did not encourage whistleblowers.

Wawro stressed the importance of parliamentary supervision of the defence system and proposed engaging experts to help legislators in assessing the quality of defence spending. She said that such problems were also encountered by other countries, adding that USD 1.7 trillion was spent annually on defence in the world and that billions were lost to corruption.

Eugen Kogan of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies spoke of the experience of 10 former Warsaw Pact countries and Turkey, saying that there was no tradition of accountability to taxpayers in those countries so that the transparency of their defence budgets was very low.

The conference was organised by the Croatian Centre for Peace Studies with the support of the Defence Ministry.


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Procurement Forum – How to procure innovation effectively?, Hungary

July 22 in by eisc No Comments

On behalf of the European Commission, the Procurement of Innovation Platform project is organising a series of training sessions to provide both a theoretical framework and more practical advice on implementing public procurement of innovation (PPI). The seminar will be held in Hungary on 14 October 2014 and is aimed mainly at experts and procurers from the Central and Eastern European region.

Participation in the training is free of charge and on a case-by-case basis travel and accommodation for participants may be covered.
The training package is specifically tailored to meet different needs, and is suitable for both beginners and those with more experience. The latest PPI support tools will be introduced and discussed, and specific aspects of innovation and procurement, such as criteria setting or pre-procurement aspects, will be explored. Specially developed materials will also be provided and experts will be on hand to give advice.

If you are directly involved in procurement within a public authority and are interested in developing your skills, this training is an excellent opportunity. The one day training is free of charge and will consist of approximately 15 participants each. We strive for a balance of international participants, so invite people from across Europe to participate. The costs for travel and accommodation may be covered on a case-by-case basis

o apply, please send an email with your contact details to Péter Szuppinger. Applicants are selected on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum of 2 applicants per organisation.

Training is open for public servants working as policy makers, project managers and procurers. a maximum of two applicants per organisation are accepted. (The organisers reserve the right to reject applications to the training) Organiser: Procurement of Innovation Platform


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PRO-LITE Market-Sounding – Bremen lighting

July 22 in by eisc No Comments


New info on Bremen lighting procurement page 23: 

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