Sector News
This Week’s Tales from the Public Procurement Taberna

It’s Friday, so here is our roundup of stories and information we picked up down the (imaginary) procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) this week. Well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens is being spent by governments and public sector bodies, you would think it ought to be done well.

Do click through and read the full articles that interest you – some of them we will come back to in greater detail in due course.

End of the Road for London Garden Bridge?

There’s news everywhere this past week concerning the ‘dodgy’ procurement process around the design for London’s Garden Bridge project. The £175 million project to build a garden-like bridge across the river Thames is being called to a halt by RIBA, the Royal Institute for British Architects. The tendering process is called into question as ‘unorthodox’ by one Liberal Democrat, and there are concerns over fairness and transparency by RIBA president after it was discovered that the project design had been promoted in San Francisco before Transport for London had invited companies to submit their bids.”All those who bid for work have a right to expect that their submissions will be judged fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law,” she told the Architect’s Journal.

Spain’s Minister for Agriculture Calls for Redistribution of Fishing Quotas

Brussels is creating a draft to change the system of managing fishing quotas.  EurActiv reports that it is intended to improve the monitoring of EU fleets in international waters, as well as the vessels of third parties in European waters. Spain’s Minister for Agriculture, Isabel García Tejerina, says that unused fishing quotas should be “redistributed” to other countries, during a Council of Ministers meeting on Monday (15 February).

EC Survey for Procurers Interested in PPI and PCP

A survey launched by the European Commission is aimed at public procurers to collect data on intentions to procure innovative solutions. The short survey will include questions like: which type of innovative ICT solutions are of most interest to them and about their potential interest in collaborating with other procurers in innovation procurement. The results of the survey will be used to  guide the allocation of funds for the next Horizon 2020 Working Programmes, under which a budget of around €130 million is available. There’s more here on the Procurement of Innovation Platform.

Sevilla Launches Open Data Portal

ePSI platform announces that Spain’s fourth-largest city has adopted an open data portal with 75 open datasets available, grouped by demography, culture and leisure, tourism, transport, public sector, and urbanism and infrastructures. The city was previously one of the largest cities to provide only somewhat ‘hidden’ data – but now business people and citizens have access to different data about the city, such as cultural agenda, contracts signed, traffic, air quality, demographics or municipal services, and so on. The data is available for download in the use of projects, studies or research.

Growing Rift in EU Summit for Brexit Demands Reports Guardian

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is attempting to agree a reform package at a Brussels summit starting 18th February in advance of a referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU. The Guardian reports that Cameron ‘heads to Brussels with no certainty over one of his key demands – and signs that differences are widening.’ A leaked document is reported to show that there is no agreement on certain issues.