Sector News
This Week’s Chat from the Public Procurement Cafe

Here’s our Friday rundown 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.

Outcome-based procurement in Singapore and higher numbers of SMEs getting Gov contracts

Singapore Senior Minister of State for Finance, Indranee Rajah, says this week on Channel NewsAsia that outcome-based procurement is to be progressively introduced in the cleaning, security and landscape sectors. This alternative procurement approach will require government agencies to change the way they call and evaluate tenders and how they monitor service providers. It will also require changes by service providers in the way they respond to tenders and provide their services, she is reported to have said. But more interesting for other countries is what she says about how government can facilitate growth: over the past three years, SMEs have captured more than 60% of total government contract value and about 85% of all government tenders. “This share of the total number of government contracts is significantly higher than in other countries, such as the UK. Our SMEs have successfully tendered not just for smaller projects, but also for more sizeable ones. For the past 3 years, by contract value, about 50% of all contracts above S$50 million were awarded to SMEs, a very respectable proportion.” There’s more here on the Channel NewsAsia website.

Wales – Ethical employment practices must be at the centre of public projects

Finance and Government Business Minister for Wales, addressing an ‘Ethical Employment Practices in Construction’ event in Cardiff, says ethical employment practices must be at the centre of all publicly funded construction and infrastructure projects. The Welsh Government website – Llywodraeth Cymru – says “A Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains is now being developed as an additional mechanism for tackling the issues of false self-employment and unfair umbrella schemes. Public sector bodies in Wales, Welsh businesses and suppliers to the Welsh public sector will be expected to sign up to the Code.” In May a programme of training and awareness events will start for public sector clients and business to support the adoption of the Procurement Advice Note. You can read more here. 

TTIP talks need to gather momentum quickly before Obama term ends

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) “negotiators must soon strike deals on market access for services and certification of regulatory standards, sources have said, if the EU-US trade deal is to be struck before the end of the Obama Administration,” reports EurActiv.  Donald Trump has been an outspoken critic of free trade agreements, so when President Barack Obama steps down there is likely to be an era of uncertainty for the free trade deal — depending on his successor. We have discussed the TTIP deal several times:

TTIP: EU seeks widespread access in US procurement markets

TTIP Deal Draws Further Protests Across EU

EU Local Authorities Join TTIP Opposition

Potentially the World’s Biggest Free-Trade Pact: Brussels and Washington Go Head to Head on TTIP

Transnational Institute Report Claims TTIP-CETA Deal Detrimental to Public Services

Also in brief:

PianOo – Netherlands: TenderNed and amended Public Procurement Act 2012 – The amended Public Procurement Act 2012 is expected to enter into force from July 1, 2016. Some requirements will change, for example, additional or new forms will be introduced – more details on the website

European Commission publishes third edition of Buying Green! Handbook – Platform of Innovation reports the European Commission’s leading publication for assisting public sector entities to purchase goods and services that have a lower impact on the environment, has been published. More here.