Procurement News – Europe

ENIGMA / Events / Brussels market consultation

April 15 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

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The common challenge for ENIGMA partner cities is to upgrade their public lighting infrastructure and system, using ICT solutions to enable cities to offer a wide range of intelligent and integrated services benefiting society and individual citizens and bringing the cities closer to the ambition of becoming Smart Cities. On 22 April, these ambitions will be discussed at an industry information session in Brussels, where all EU actors and stakeholders interested in participating on developing ICT-based smart solutions for public lighting, are welcome.

 Agenda of the day (13.00-16.00): Opening the session and introduction 

Lars Montelius, Lund University 

General challenge, beyond state-of-the-art 

Joram Nauta, TNO & Lars Montelius, Lund University  

Feedback on the Challenge 

Joram Nauta, TNO & Lars Montelius & Håkan Lagerquist, Lund University  

What does the tender look like: PCP and the procurement process

Jaap Strating, City of Eindhoven 

Networking sessionThe event will take place at the Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU (see map below) and will be held in English. For more information regarding the Brussels market consultation, please see the invitation below. To register, please contact David Kiss, Lund University (
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April 14 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

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Criticism of the processes for procuring goods and services in the UK has grown steadily over the years. Compared to other EU member states, procurement in the UK was more costly and took longer. In this article Pedro Paulo explains the changes being made and he describes the benefits for the different stakeholders.

Government spending in the UK has long been concentrated on vast contracts made with giants among their industry. Large multinational companies continue to win multi-year, multi-billion pound government deals, and smaller firms are left feeling unable to compete.

The European Parliament recently agreed to support a package of new procurement directives which have been designed, amongst other aims, to help European Union member states to cut red tape and boost participation by small and medium businesses in public sector procurement competitions.

With the introduction of a standard “European Single Procurement Document” based on self-declarations, it is hoped that the new directives will make for a simpler bidding process, as only the winning bidder will have to provide original documentation. This document in itself is estimated by the European Parliament to reduce the administrative load on companies by over 80 percent, making it significantly easier for SMEs to bid for public sector contracts.

Additionally, in a move that is hoped to save SMEs up to 60 percent of current bidding costs, the new directives will require public sector organisations to break large contracts into smaller lots which should make them more accessible to smaller businesses.

The UK government has welcomed the support for these reforms, having been working to deliver a number of measures to ensure that SMEs have a greater involvement in public sector procurement. Their aim is that, by 2015, 25 percent of government spend will be with smaller businesses.

The current state of UK public sector procurement

The Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) recently compiled a report on Gatewit’s behalf, in which it looked at the current state of public sector procurement in the UK, and demonstrated why such reforms are necessary if SMEs are to be able to compete with larger players.

According to CEBR’s research, public sector purchasing in the UK accounts for around one percent of GDP (approximately £230 billion); a figure almost unparalleled in the EU.

However, the average cost of a UK competitive procurement process, at £45,200, is the highest in the European Union and around 90 percent more expensive than the EU average of £23,900.

In addition, for public sector bodies, the UK is one of most expensive countries in Europe in which to attract bids from a potential supplier in a competitive process. At £1,260, this is 58 percent higher than the EU average of £800, with only Denmark, Norway and Italy recording higher costs for attracting a tender.

The research also revealed that the UK’s public sector procurement process takes 53 days longer than the EU average which, when taken in tandem with the high price of UK labour, may be a contributory factor to the costs of the overall process.

Barriers to entry

It’s easy to see therefore, why some firms in the private sector can be dissuaded from tendering for public sector contracts. Smaller businesses in particular can find these barriers to entry prohibitively high and find themselves unable – or unwilling – to take part in these expensive and lengthy procurement processes without having the necessary resources available.

As a result, fewer firms are currently submitting tenders and this lack of competition means that public sector organisations are left facing a restricted, and potentially more expensive, choice of only those larger companies that are able to participate.

However, the CEBR report reveals that the UK sees an above average number of bids per contract, suggesting that UK procurement competitions are attracting bidders despite the high costs and lengthy procedures. This being so, steps such as the new directives should be welcomed as a means of increasing competition and ensuring better value for the public sector by making the process less expensive and simpler for vendors to participate in.

First steps

The UK government has already taken steps towards helping SMEs compete for large contracts with the launch in 2012 of its CloudStore platform for public sector IT procurement. The situation may be further improved in 2016 when a new mandate from the EU Commission comes into force, requiring all European public sector organisations to use e-procurement technology for all purchasing. This initiative alone is predicted to save somewhere in the region of £30bn, and will also allow for faster and more cost-effective purchasing and bidding processes.

It’s worth acknowledging that, as a result of the new directives, a number of smaller companies will soon to experience the public sector procurement process for the first time. Although the requirements may be less than before, a certain amount of time, effort and money will still be needed for any bids made, all of which will require consideration.

That said, any steps that will lead to a foot in the public sector door are likely to be welcomed by small and medium businesses which were unable to compete previously.

The CEBR report clearly demonstrates that, currently being too expensive and time-consuming to attract tenders from small and medium-sized businesses, the UK’s public sector procurement process is less than ideal. The new directives from the European Parliament, expected to become law in two years’ time, could be what’s needed by both sellers and buyers alike to improve the process, widening the pool and increasing the value to all concerned.

Pedro Paulo is CEO at Gatewit.

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Independent schools launch procurement consortium

April 14 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

See on Scoop.itPublic Procurement – Europe


A group of independent schools have formed a buyer consortium to reduce their procurement costs. The Facilities Collective, founded by food technology firm Caternet, was created in March 2014. At the time of launch, 11 schools were signed up, with bursars from Wellingborough, Box Hill and Edge Grove School participating. Members will club together to win discounts on the services and goods they buy. They also hope to reduce costs by using shared e-procurement and budgeting software. John Brand, managing director of Caternet, said: “The collective is really about schools using their own choice of suppliers while modernising their purchasing processes and administration using sophisticated online software. “Through these improvements, we are confident that the collective can save any school money by ensuring competitive pricing across the many thousands of products and services that they buy.” Buyer consortia are more commonly found among state schools that no longer procure through their local education authorities. Last October, a British Educational Suppliers Association survey found that 28.5% of academies purchased in a chain or cluster in 2013, while 23% of non-academies did the same.
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STA: Slovenia Welcomes Joint Health Procurement Agreement

April 14 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

See on Scoop.itPublic Procurement – Europe

The Slovenian Health Ministry has welcomed a joint procurement agreement adopted by the European Commission earlier this week that will enable all EU countries to procure pandemic vaccines and other medical countermeasures as a group, rather than individually.

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PPI eNews :: March

April 11 in Daily News by eisc No Comments

See on Scoop.itPublic Procurement – Europe

Four PPI initiatives will be piloted in Italy, Sweden and Hungary as part of PROBIS, a new project which aims to make construction in Europe more innovative and sustainable. PROBIS will establish framework conditions that encourage the introduction of innovative solutions in the construction sector.

The pilot initiatives will involve determining the specific needs of buildings, carrying out technical dialogues, releasing calls, and monitoring results. The overarching aim of PROBIS is to ensure that proposed solutions are widely applicable across EU Member States.
Working meetings will be held in each of the participating regions, with market actors from the construction sector present. Through these meetings, PROBIS aims to map innovation in the sector.

For more information, contact

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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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