Sector News
Newswire Weekly – European Public Procurement Update

Regular readers will notice we have changed the name of our weekly European public procurement news roundup. We will still bring you recent public sector stories and information from around Europe’s news portals, reporting on how more than a trillion Euros of taxpayer money is being spent, but it will be part of a future initiative to bring you more frequent, online reporting. Watch this space.

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Healthcare – There will be a EPP-eHealth Stakeholder Workshop at Liverpool City Council, England, on 10th November 2016, oriented to eHealth suppliers. “The purpose is to understand the suppliers’ perspective about public procurement in the Healthcare sector in various European countries and assess the potential barriers and opportunities to market ICT solutions and to enable suppliers and customers to comment on it. Suppliers will have the opportunity to meet with Healthcare procurers who will present their Joint Statement of eHealth Unmet Needs. Healthcare procurers will receive feedback from suppliers about eHealth solutions capable to meet their unmet needs and discuss about the prominent Healthcare technological challenges”. The event  is open to eHealth Suppliers and Healthcare Procurers. More information available at: EPP-eHealth website and @EPPeHealth

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Fraud – Our colleagues at Public Spend Forum in the USA featured this story in their daily round-up newswire. We are always fascinated by incidents of fraud and corruption so thought we would pass this on. “Nathaniel Wright, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration employee, pleaded guilty yesterday to making false statements in connection with an investigation into his interactions with contractors. Wright worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, but in 2009 and 2010, he also worked as a contract employee for a friend’s small business, helping that business preparing bids to other government agencies. As a NASA employee, Wright also pressured contractors to consider his friend’s business, and gave a potential contractor his résumé, saying he would like a position with that company”. More on the US Department of Justice website here too.

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Brexit – One problem with the UK Brexit is that everybody thinks it is an opportunity for their own interests to be met, including in the procurement space. At the recent Conservative Party conference, Kathy Evans, chief executive of Children England, said it was “an opportunity to scrap EU procurement rules that have forced charities to become too large and too business-like”.  More here; she said that part of the recent dip in public trust in charities was down to the fact that charities were competing with the private sector for contracts. So charities became larger and drifted away from what the public wanted, and expected, them to be. “Brexit is an opportunity for us to scrap EU regulations that created a culture of procurement where charities were just another business,” she said.  So she is blaming public procurement rules for charities becoming more business-like. Not sure about that really…
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Brexit – How about a view of Brexit from a different angle? The “effect of Brexit on the public procurement sector in Italy” even? On the Lexology website, this article by Giuliano Berruti of Nctm Studio Legale looks at the UK’s position from the perspective of another major EU country.  “Consequently the first point that arises from Brexit is the necessity of a real protection of the economic operators established in the Member States and competing in the single market, to avoid that the flexibility given to the UK Government by Brexit can alter the legal conditions necessary for guaranteeing a fair competition in public procurement”. Interesting, if a little technical in parts.

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CETA – “Germany’s Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal brought against the EU’s free trade deal with Canada (CETA). The door is now open for Berlin to sign the agreement.” EurActiv Germany reports. It continues: “President of the Court Andreas Voßkuhle said that blocking the deal would have had ‘adversely affected the international standing of the EU and all European actors in shaping European trade relations.'” The concerns around CETA have been taken on board by the court, ruling that Germany is free to sign the deal, but it has done this only on the condition that Berlin can decide to withdraw from the agreement if a later court decision is made.