Sector News
Tales from the Public Procurement Taverna

Here’s our Friday rundown from our (literal) 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, so it’s good to pick up on stories on how it’s being spent.

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.

24 Countries Gather To Promote Cross-Functional Cooperation

Kazakhstan was the place to be this week as Procurement specialists gathered at the 12th Procurement, Integrity, Management and Openness (PRIMO) Forum to share best practice knowledge on how to ensure integrity and transparency in public procurement. 24 countries across Europe and Central Asia were represented to promote cross-regional cooperation and good governance. This year the forum focused on “professionalising the procurement function, which is not considered a specific profession in many of the participating countries,” as reported by Public Finance International here.

Putting Public Procurement Beyond Reproach

This article published in Government Computing is well worth a read — written by Amanda Pilkington, a legal director with DLA Piper, it offers “some best practice advice on ways in which contracting authorities can seek to protect themselves against subsequent scrutiny of an award decision in an increasingly challenging procurement environment.” She says “In an atmosphere of increasing scrutiny, contracting authorities must be beyond reproach in terms of the way in which the procurement exercise has been conducted. This means audit trails, detailed evaluation reports written to the letter of the evaluation criteria (which is not always easy to achieve!) and consistent communication to all participating bidders. Easier said than done!” She goes on to look at how contracting authorities can avoid the many pitfalls of running a public procurement exercise.

New Public Procurement Code for Italy

The Italian Government has approved Legislative Decree no. 50, implementing Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and European Council of 26 February 2014. The new ‘Code’ is “likely to produce uncertainties for economic operators, pending the competent authorities’ issuance of the relevant soft-law instruments (i.e. general guidelines which the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti) will issue based on input from the National Anti-bribery and Corruption Authority (ANAC)” says JDSUPRA Business Adviser. We will be covering this more fully soon, but the site gives a useful briefing document in the shape of a pdf of the full client alert from  Latham & Watkins LLP.

InnProBio Produces Factsheet on Bio-Based Products for Public Sector Buyers

To provide more information about the most relevant issues concerning bio-based products (wholly or partly made from materials of biological origin and services), a series of factsheets will be published by InnProBio, the Forum for Bio-Based Innovation in Public Procurement, for public sector buyers. The factsheets will  focus on related issues and will aim to answer questions to help public sector buyers understand what can they be used for or why should the public sector purchase them, how buyers can ensure they have been produced in a sustainable manner and what types of standards are available. We will reporting in full on the factsheets next week.

eafip Module 1 Released

Called “Your one-stop destination for online help in preparing your innovation procurement” the European Commission has launched a Toolkit which “aims to provide support to policy makers in designing PCP (pre-commercial procurement) and PPI (public procurement of innovation) strategies, and procurers and their legal departments in implementing such procurements. It will consist of three modules:

  • Module 1: A strategic module addressed to policy makers, providing economic and case evidence about the impacts and benefits of PCP and PPI, together with concrete guidance on how to embed PCP and PPI into innovation strategies;
  • Module 2: An operational module addressed to public procurers aimed at clarifying the pre-requisites and key steps to design and implement an innovation procurement process (PCP and PPI); and
  • Module 3: A legal / operational module addressed to legal services aimed at clarifying legal issues and provide practical ‘how-to’ guidelines, supported by templates.”

Module 1 has just been released and the others will follow — there’s more on the eafip website.