Sector News
Newswire Weekly – European Public Procurement Update

This is our weekly European public procurement news roundup. We will be bringing 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. This will become part of a future initiative to bring you more frequent, online reporting.

Slovakian Interior Ministry – no tender for public building reconstruction

Slovakian Office for Public Procurement is considering imposing a fine on the Interior Ministry for side stepping a public procurement. It rented a building in 2015 at €73,000 per month, stating the building was fit for its needs. A reconstruction of the building was later ordered without a public tender for €5.2 million. The rent went up €110,855 per month and another reconstruction project for €514,000 was ordered – culminating in the ministry buying the whole building. It has since opened as a client care centre. The office now has 30 days to decide whether the ministry will be fined at 5 percent of the public procurement’s value, which is around €260,000. The full story is on The Slovak Spectator.

Latvia and US in reciprocal defence agreement

The governments of Latvia and the US have signed a reciprocal defence procurement agreement. Both countries will have access to each other’s procurements. It will mean Latvian defence and security manufacturers and service providers will be able to participate in procurement programmes initiated by the US. Common military standards between the two nations should ensue. More on this story on the Shephard website.

Guide to EuropeAid

EuropeAid is the short name for the Directorate General for International Development. This is the European Commission agency responsible for the European international cooperation and development policy and for delivering aid throughout the world – also referred to as DEVCO. A very good guide to what it is and how it works has appeared on Devex this week – it tells us simply and clearly: what EuropeAid is; how much money there is and how is it disbursed; how the projects work; the grants and contracts available; who is eligible to apply for aid and where to go to find out information. It is also interesting to see how public money is allocated. The guide can be read here on the Devex website.

Northern Ireland – potential conflict of interest in £80 million health project

Belfast Newsletter reports that The Civil Service is investigating a whistleblower’s allegations of a potential conflict of interest in an £80 million health project. The Department of Health said: “The Department of Finance’s Central Procurement Directorate received a letter from a whistleblower containing allegations relating to the procurement of the Newry and Lisburn Primary Care centre projects on December 20 2016.” The Fraud Investigation Services is examining the claims which relate to two new £40 million health centres in Lisburn and Newry which were to be built using a form of public-private partnership.

How the new Scottish Public Procurement Rules have been received

One year on, Lexology is looking at how the new Scottish Procurement Rules have been received, from the perspective of authorities and bidders. It is considering whether they have led to improvements in procurement procedures with better market engagement; speedier, less onerous, less bureaucratic tender processes; innovation; or a broader approach to award criteria and achieving value for money. The analysis can be found here.

The long-term effects of green public procurement – new report

The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) has produced a report on the long-term effects of green public procurement (GPP). It documents how long term effects of GPP differ from short-term effects. This includes changes in volumes and prices of green products, and cases where practices used in public procurement are diffused to private sector procurement.   The report was commissioned by the Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket) in Swedish but can be downloaded or ordered in English too from the website here.

Conference on strategic public procurement – reminder

Procuring sustainable, innovative and socially responsible solutions is the EC conference which aims to raise awareness among decision makers and the procurement community about the benefits of strategic procurement, with an emphasis on sustainability, social responsibility and innovation. Only two weeks to go – it will take place in Paris and will feature speakers recognised for their expertise and leadership in the field. Ful details are here.