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

Here’s our Friday roundup of news picked up in the (imaginary) public procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) — 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.

Third Interdisciplinary Symposium on Public Procurement – Belgrade

The Interdisciplinary Symposium on Public Procurement is a series of events held in the leading European capitals, hosting renowned experts, researchers and scientists in the field of public procurement. Its aim is to bring together public procurement economists and lawyers to discuss reducing the terminology barrier that exists between them. The Symposium also offers a platform to discuss the challenging issues of the modern practices in public procurement. While topics and references  certainly involve the European Union,  they are not be limited to that area, taking into account best practices worldwide. The event is due to take place September 28-30 in Belgrade. More details here.

Inadequate and poor housing costs EU €194 billion per year

A report in Euractiv reveals that poor housing is costing EU economies €194bn every year in healthcare, social services and lost productivity. A study was commissioned by the European Parliament and carried out by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) which found that European countries spend this money every year in both direct costs, such as healthcare or social services, and indirect costs, like loss of productivity. It says “The removal of deficient housing would cost a total €295 billion. However, the totality of money spent would be reimbursed nearly 18 months later,” which sounds like a sensible move not just from an economics standpoint. The full story is here.

UK government – funding for innovative healthcare technology, if led by SME

UK businesses can now apply for a share of £10 million in funding to develop innovative ideas to improve the healthcare sector. Says Procurement of Innovation Platform — “Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation agency, is looking for ideas for technologies that will help with disease prevention and the management of health and chronic conditions, improve detection and diagnosis of disease, and provide tailored treatments, particularly those that offer potential cures.” The full description of the awards is given on the government website – one specific is that an SME must lead the project.

Corruption in Finland – more rife in private than public sector 

A new report published by Finland’s Police University College, reveals that “in the three years up to 2014, some 516 reports alleging corruption were received by the police. The number of bribery cases increased 15%. Bribery cases tend to be minor in scope, and usually relate to things like competitive procurement, match-fixing in sports and influencing voters in the case of municipal elections. Misuse of funds was the main type of corruption, but there is also an upward trend in cases alleging misuse of data.”  There’s more here on New Europe.

New guide on re-use in Local Authority Procurement published

According to circular economy and resource efficiency expert – WRAP – UK local authority waste departments often find it difficult to persuade Procurement that including re-use in new contracts is worthwhile. So WRAP has published a guide on how to include re-use in local authority household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) procurement, with advice on options, benefits and success factors. The full story is on LetsRecycle.com