Sector News
This Week’s Stories from the Public Procurement Pub

It’s Friday– so here is our roundup from the (imaginary) procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) of recent public sector stories, snippets and information from around Europe. 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.

Public Procurement System Reforms for Slovenia

A new Slovenian Public Procurement Act, ZJN-3, came into force on 1 April. It replaces ZJN-2 and the Act Regulating Public Procurement in Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services which have been running in tandem. The new Act unifies both areas. The Act comes into force as a result of the latest EU Regulations adoption and aims to pursue greater transparency, lessen corruption, promote innovative and greener public procurements and encourage greater participation of SMEs. The new Act it is hoped will achieve greater flexibility of procedures, simplify complex procedures and open national markets to foreign enterprises. The full story and information about what the changes mean for contracting authorities and tenderers can be found on the Lexology website.

First Welsh Council to Install Free WiFi

Government Technology reports that Powys County Council has announced that Llandrindod Well has become the first town in Wales to install an open access Wi-Fi system. No more looking for cafes or public buildings that allow free internet access, residents and visitors will now be able to access the free Wi-Fi by logging onto a system via a portal page on the town’s new website, even on the public transport interchange. It’s becoming more common for councils to install free WiFi, usually supported by government funding, in this case the council’s regeneration grant, and development funds like this one, Tesco 106. GoEuro has a rundown of its10 best cities that have installed free WiFi, available in the most central areas.

Public Procurement of Innovation Gap Analysis

“Cities participating in the CEPPI project have undertaken a Public Procurement of Innovation Gap Analysis to assess their capacity to engage in public procurement of innovation (PPI) activities. Birmingham (UK), Budapest (Hungary), Castelló and Valencia (Spain), and Wrocław (Poland) were assessed in terms of their PPI skills; the procurement process they currently use; their environmental, energy and innovation policy framework; and their public sector network, which could potentially represent a wider market,” reports the Procurement of Innovation Platform. The analysis also covered the procurement process and gave recommendations for improvement.

Wine protesters highjack Spanish Wine trucks over claims of unfair competition

New Europe reports that “the Spanish Foreign Ministry summoned France’s ambassador in Spain to complain about the angry protest made by French farmers who seized Spanish trucks and drained their cargo of wine near the French Spanish borders” and that the actions represented “a flagrant violation of several basic principles of the European Union, such as the free circulation of goods between member states.” French farmers who seized the Spanish trucks, and poured out 90,000 bottles of wine, are accusing Spanish and Italian wine makers of selling products below the ordinary price and promoting unfair competition.

Less cars on roads with ‘Netflix-like’ city transport app

The European Commission is encouraging cities to use technology and to digitse cities – in this case mobile-as-a-service, to make energy and transport services more efficient. “A project slated to start later this year in Finland could create an app that would help Helsinki residents to map out routes using multiple modes of transport, including walking, public transport, taxis and bicycle and car sharing programmes. The app will also sell flat-rate subscriptions so that people can travel in the city with whatever combination of transport means they choose—and only pay once,” reports EurActiv.