Supply Side
This Week’s News from the Public Procurement Cafe

It’s Friday so we’ve been in the (imaginary) public procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) where we picked up 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.

New public procurement IT system for Romania gets nationwide test

New legislation for public sector buying, to transpose the European directives, was adopted slightly late in Romania, but the National Agency for Public Acquisitions is now ready to start testing the new system nationally from the end of July. The new public procurement system, SICAP, will replace SEAP, the existing one. Romania’s Business Review has the full story.

UK Council has questions to answer over procurement policy

A fee of £37,00 had been paid by Rochdale Borough Council to two companies to update a section of its website. An RFI was submitted by Rochdale Online, and a local web developer was asked to review the update against the fee paid. His response was that the fee was “staggering” — the response from Council also revealed that the work had not been put out to tender, denying local developers the opportunity to quote for the work. It transpired that over the past two years the council had paid them over half a million pounds. There’s more on the website here.

France’s far-right National Front founder to reimburse EU 

Jean-Marie Le Pen is being asked to replay The European Parliament €320,000 for a salary it believes was wrongly paid out to him for parliamentary assistance 2009-2014. It said Le Pen had offered “neither an explanation for nor any evidence of parliamentary assistance work.” “The Paris public prosecutor’s office opened an inquiry in March 2015 into wages paid to around 20 assistants on suspicions they were given fake jobs in Strasbourg while they continued to work for the party elsewhere,” see Euractiv for the full story.

Eafip event to present outcomes of European PPI and PCP initiatives

“Procurers, policy makers, procurement law firms and businesses are invited to learn more about the most recent outcomes from major pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) initiatives across Europe by attending the second major eafip event in Athens (Greece) from 18 – 19 October 2016.” Full details are on the Procurement of Innovation Platform website.

Palette Software acquires Business Solutions from KIBI

A Swedish software company, Palette, has acquired the business area Business Solutions from KIBI to strength its position in the Nordic market. “Palette is a leading provider of solutions that cover the entire process from purchase to payment, P2P. Through the acquisition of KIBI Business Solutions, Palette strengthens its position in the Nordic market, a market that it has invested heavily in during the past few years by establishments in Denmark in 2012, Finland in 2014 and Norway in 2015.” There’s more here on the Paypers website.

CJEU ruling on open-house contracts

“… the European Court of Justice gave a preliminary ruling defining open-house contracts at the request of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, and has now excluded them from the scope of classical procurement law. This decision is of enormous practical significance for public procurement exercises,” says international law firm Bird&Bird. “So-called open-house contracts are used when the public body chooses to contract with any and all interested companies using pre-defined conditions, instead of contracting with only one or a limited number of companies. This is especially relevant in the healthcare sector where economic or compliance factors play an important role.” The full sotry is on the Bird&Bird website.