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Les obstacles que rencontrent les PME pour répondre aux marchés publics sont encore nombreux - Marches-Publics-PME

Les PME rencontrent toujours de nombreuses difficultés pour remporter des marchés publics. Il faut donc mettre en place des mesures leur permettant de répondre. Face à la crise, les élus locaux pensent majoritairement qu'il faut leur facilité la tâche afin de compenser les lourdes pertes qui les frappent. 

C'est ainsi qu'à Nantes, un bras de fer s'est engagé entre les élus et Michel Barnier, commissaire européen au marché intérieur. Les élus voulaient soutenir les entreprises locales tandis que ce dernier s'appuyait sur la règle du marché ouvert aux entreprises des 27 États de l'Union européenne. En fait, on est face à un paradoxe, la norme internationale de développement durable soutient le développement des territoires, mais les mêmes pays l'ayant accepté sont favorables aux normes de l'OMC. Les circuits courts sont un bon exemple de cette contradiction. Tandis que les élus voudraient encourager la production de proximité, la commission leur rétorque une définition qui n?intègre pas la notion géographique, mais seulement l'obligation de se limiter à deux intermédiaires.

Mais ce ne sont pas là, les seuls obstacles, le directeur de l?observatoire économique des achats publics à Bercy, Serge Doumain, affirment que les entreprises locales remportent majoritairement les appels d'offres. Dans l'étude publiée récemment, on peut constater que 60% des contrats du marché public revient aux PME. Ces chiffres s'expliqueraient par le fait qu'une entreprise locale peut proposer des prix moins élevés, qui restent un des critères prédominants des attributions. 

Les organisations patronales ne sont pas d'accord, elles estiment en effet que seule une part de 28% de la commande publique est attribuée aux PME et 40% pour les collectivités, le reste étant absorbé par les grands groupes. Pour le secrétaire général de la la CGPME, Jean Eudes du Mesnil, la situation est encore plus défavorable depuis que le Code a été refondu en 2006. Pour Jean-Claude Andréini, le constat est sans appel, il accuse les collectivités de ne pas prendre en compte les critères innovants pour décider de l'attribution des commandes. 

Un entrepreneur a été nommé en tant que médiateur des marchés publics depuis trois mois par le gouvernement, Jean-Lou Blachier. Pour sa part, il pense que les PME ont les cartes en main afin de répondre à ces marchés. Il affirme que beaucoup d?entre elles ne répondent pas aux appels d'offres alors que leurs carnets de commandes sont vides. D'après lui leurs réticences proviendraient d'une mauvaise connaissance, il pense donc qu'il faut développer la pédagogie afin de les encourager à le faire et simplifier les démarches.

Toni Saraiva - EISC Ltd - Enterprise Europe - WinningTenders.eu's insight:

In a nutshell the public procurement mediator in France thinks that SMEs can bid for contracts and should even more when they have empty order books. Why are they not doing it? For him it is due to the fact that they lack the knowledge of public procurement, of contract opportunities etc.

He thinks knowledge/learning needs to be developed to get the companies on their way.

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Meet the Buyer Event - Schools PPP Bundle- Supplier event with BAM PPP

The Public Procurement department in Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the National Development Finance Agency & BAM PPP will host a free “Meet the Buyer” event for the construction sector on Tues 7th Oct in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk, Co.Louth from 4pm to 7.30pm. This event will highlight supply chain opportunities for SMEs & microbusinesses with BAM PPP as they advance their work on 4 post primary schools in Louth, Clare, Tipperary and Cork. This building initiative is part of a Public Private Partnership programme Attendees will find out how to become a sub supplier to the projects and have speed meetings with a team of specialists from BAM PPP.

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Invitation to a study visit on innovation procurement in public lighting

Toni Saraiva - EISC Ltd - Enterprise Europe - WinningTenders.eu's insight:

A study visit focusing on the inspiring qualities of light and the potential economic and social benefits that innovative light displays and light festivals can have will take place in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) from November 12 – 13 as part of theENIGMA project.

The study visit will take in the acclaimed GLOW festival, and will provide an opportunity for public procurers to discuss the topic of innovative public lighting with other interested stakeholders. Following the study visit, select participants will have the chance to take part in a one and a half day “work shadowing” event (November 13 -14) within the City of Eindhoven, providing a unique opportunity to gain insight into the inner workings of a pioneer city and to exchange with a range of professionals. A maximum of two representatives from public authorities will be able to take part in this work shadowing.

An agenda is available for the event, and registration is possible online. A limited number of travel and accommodation grants are available.

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Government must lead by example on green procurement

Government must lead by example on green procurement | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has complained that government buildings had been constructed with no respect for energy-saving measures, and announced that “an enormous capital project” for renewable energy was being planned by the Labour government.

Scicluna was addressing attendees of a conference organised in tandem by the Institute for Research and Improvement in Social Sciences (IRISS) and the ambitiously acronymned GReen procurement And Smart city suPport (GRASP) Consortium.

The GRASP project, part-financed by the European Union, is intended to promote the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. 

“For 27 years the race for economic growth was carried out without respect for the environment, then in 1972 Stockholm conference. 20 years later, the world realised that nobody can stop development,” Scicluna said, explaining that the 1992 Rio summit changed the world’s environmental philosophy to one of  ”sustainable development”.

He also said that the EU has been one of the regional blocs that rose to the challenge of tackling climate change at source, issuing a number of directives paving the way for a “decarbonised economy”.

“The question is always, is there a better way?” Scicluna asked, pointing out that people were more environmentally concerned and acting on these concerns by purchasing solar panels and separating household waste at source.

“Government should lead like a responsible citizen by making the best choices. Unfortunately we are a bit late… Government buildings have been built without any respect for passive energy efficiency, but this government has an enormous capital project planned.

“This Green Procurement system will hopefully usher in a new market system - it is likely that we will see the EU adopting an E-procurement system. Malta already has an E-Procurement system in place,” Scicluna said.

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PEPPOL recognised as the future of e-Procurement in Europe — PEPPOL | Pan-European Public Procurement Online

PEPPOL recognised as the future of e-Procurement in Europe — PEPPOL | Pan-European Public Procurement Online | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

“A rising star” – this is how PEPPOL is described in a blog post from Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda for Europe. e-Procurement savings are estimated at €50 billion per year in Europe and, with its common standards and infrastructure, PEPPOL has the power to unleash this opportunity for the entire region.

Since 2008 PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) has been developing and implementing technology standards to align business processes for electronic procurement across all governments within Europe. From 2012, the responsibilities for life cycle management and governance of the results of the PEPPOL project was handed over to OpenPEPPOL AISBL.

PEPPOL is indeed part of a wider EU strategy which has its foundation in the Digital Agenda for Europe and implemented in several policy documents, such as the EC communication, "A strategy for e-procurement", including actions aimed at supporting the sustainability of the PEPPOL from mid-2012.

The recent announcement of the UK Department of Health which is mandating the use of PEPPOL and GS1 standards, confirms the value of PEPPOL standards for the NHS e-procurement strategy , through which NHS trusts are projected to cut £1.5bn of procurement efficiencies, by the end of 2015-16.

Norway, Sweden, Denmark and France have already established PEPPOL Authorities at national level to ensure public sector governance and a level playing field for service providers offering PEPPOL-based services, and other EU governments are planning to follow the same path.

In Norway, over 4.7 million electronic invoices were exchanged using PEPPOL within the first seven months of 2014, with 44 service providers offering access to the PEPPOL network, as PEPPOL Access Points.

Now that the strategic direction has been clearly defined, EU governments and businesses should look no further to implement e-Invoicing and e-Procurement, ensuring the benefits of interoperability and leveraging on these successful developments.

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Is it too late to complete fundamental reforms of Whitehall procurement?

With nine months before the general election, there is little time left to complete the overhaul of government procurement processes.

Improving the management of the £200bn the public sector spends each year on the purchase of goods, services, equipment, building works and projects has been a priority of Francis Maude, the minister responsible to driving Whitehall efficiency.

The success of these reforms matters to all of us because, if we exclude benefits and pensions, the cost of procurement amounts to 40% of government expenditure: £6,000 a year for each taxpayer.

To spearhead reform, particularly in central government, Maude created a central buying service, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). The CCS is now responsible for commonly purchased goods and services by central government departments, and increasingly by local government and the NHS. The NHS expects to save £300m by 2016 through using the CCS.

However, government departments largely retain their own procurement organisations, which let contracts to many of the same suppliers. While this independence may be understandable for the Ministry of Defence, which needs specialist equipment and services, the duplication is inexcusable for other departments. Poor handling of government contracts has resulted in many problems, such as the alleged frauds by Serco and G4S, the irregularities with A4e, the West coast mainline fiasco and, most recently, the £220m bill a tribunal ordered the UK Border Agency pay to US company Raytheon over the unlawful termination of the e-borders contract.

The CCS has tried to compensate by investing heavily in crown representatives, who try to manage key Whitehall suppliers, but lack the authority to be fully effective.

I proposed the CCS to the public administration select committee in January 2013, envisaging a central body of expertise that would let and manage government departmental contracts. It would be independent of the departments, but performance oversight by the National Audit Office would ensure that it could be held to account. Combining the procurement teams of central government departments within the CCS would create an immensely powerful organisation, the expertise of which would be available to all.

Taking things further, if the CCS were to be released from the normal Treasury employment controls – as is happening with Ministry of Defence procurement – it would be able to recruit top professionals from the private sector to enhance capability.

The last Labour government invested heavily in improving procurement in individual government departments. This created a gravy train for some consultants and gave some powerful commercial and procurement directors a vested interest in briefing permanent secretaries and ministers for their own survival and against radical change. They may anticipate surviving the next nine months.

Francis Maude needs quick results, but is it too late? The incomingWhitehall chief executive, who the government is having trouble recruiting, will have to report to several people, including Maude. But for all his dedication, Maude is not a member of the Cabinet, unlike some of the colleagues he will need to influence. Completing the fundamental reform of government procurement, so desperately needed, hangs in the balance.

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Bulgaria's Health Minister Halts BGN 30 M of Procurement - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

Bulgaria's Health Minister Halts BGN 30 M of Procurement - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

Public procurement procedures worth BGN 30 M were launched in the healthcare sector during the last days of Plamen Oresharski's cabinet, the interim Health Minister revealed.

Miroslav Nenkov said on Thursday they were to be frozen as they contained a number of flaws, including in the tenders envisaged. 

In his words, the ministry would not abandon the procedures started by Nenkov's predecessor Tanya Andreeva, but would consider how to fix their issues, the website Dnevnik.bg reports. 

The biggest single procurement involved the so-called "electronic healthcare", at BGN 12 M, but the requirements set out by the ministry were not clear and precise enough, Nenkov explained.

He cited as a particular problem that the ministry placed an order for an electronic system that could be used by only 1000 computers, and it was unknown who would use it since GPs alone number 5000, and all pharmacies and hospitals should also be connected. - See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/162853/Bulgaria's+Health+Minister+Halts+BGN+30+M+of+Procurement#sthash.qvAekXsi.dpuf

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3 reasons social media is important to procurement

3 reasons social media is important to procurement | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

I recently read an interesting article in the Financial Times that discussed how social media and big data are being used to help solve supply chain issues and improve supplier management practices at a number of large companies.

This article asked thought provoking questions such as “Can social media reduce the price that a retailer pays for bread?” and “Can big data help a manufacturer reduce hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of waste?” The article provided excellent examples of how organisations are beginning to use big data and social media across their supply chains.

What the article failed to cover however, was the value-adding potential that both social media and big data have for procurement.

Talking more with experts at Proxima, various procurement practitioners in the industry and my LinkedIn network, I was able to group together 3 reasons why social media is important to procurement (I’ll explore the benefits of big data in the next post):

 

Relationship building:

One of the major reasons that companies use social media is for customer engagement. For procurement however, using social media to engage with suppliers is an increasing trend. Connecting with suppliers on platforms such as LinkedIn, and Twitter provides not only an easy and fast way to connect with suppliers on mass, but can keep procurement up-to-date with the latest news around their suppliers. The informal setting makes it easier to impart a sense of personality into the communication; forging relationships, promoting open dialogue, and in turn, building trust. Creating these intimate relationships help to build a reputation as a customer of choice.

Knowledge sharing and innovation:

Whilst the traditional social media tools have undoubtedly been helpful in assisting procurement practitioners share knowledge and ideas for a number of years; new social network sites aimed specifically at procurement professionals (Procurious, CorporateBrainz etc.) will not only increase the depth of knowledge being shared, but also the ease with which ideas are imparted and knowledge is found. For procurement professionals; being able to absorb new ideas and guidance from other professionals outside of their organisation is often crucial for driving innovation and building a competitive edge. However, with promoted tweets, bots, fraud and self-promotion, the trust that comes from online testaments is constantly being called into question. Caveat Emptor holds true, even more so now. Do further due dilligence in regards to information gathered on social media, and remember that just because something is written down, does not make it true. On a more positive note however, there are a number of stories beginning to circulate of companies setting up bespoke social media platforms to connect customer R&D departments and supplier R&D departments to encourage idea sharing and customised innovation - a sure sign of things to come.

Real time information:

Recent studies show that around a third of us now turn to social media for our news. In an age where everyone has the ability to be a publisher, traditional news outlets are experiencing a decline in readership. Consumers are increasingly turning to social media feeds which highlight only the most popular news and discussions tailored directly to the user - thanks to a range of complex algorithms. For procurement, the ability to monitor news and information in real-time is invaluable. News around suppliers, innovations, product recalls, and supply chain disruptions shared by peers is often easier to find, and more accessible on social media networks. Having a real-time view of not only your suppliers, but also the wider industry, can be used to identify issues quicker, enabling you to react before your competitors, and often before the effects are felt downstream in the supply chain.

Clearly then, social media is an increasingly important tool not just for the supply chain, but also for procurement. For those who chose to use this tool effectively, the opportunities to build and maintain stronger, more collaborative and more informed relationships with suppliers can be vast.

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Innovation Procurement ::  Award

Innovation Procurement ::  Award | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

The Public Procurement of Innovation Award aims to recognise successful public procurement practices that have been used to purchase innovative, more effective and efficient products or services.

The 6 Finalists of the Procurement of Innovation Award 2014

The winner will be revealed at the EcoProcura conference taking place in Ghent, Belgium on 24-26 September 2014.

 

First finalist: Région Rhône Alpes, France - distance learning using robotics

Région Rhône Alpes initiated the procurement ‘High School Robot’. In this procurement Région Rhône Alpes asked the market through a competitive dialogue to design a robotic remote presence solution for sick high school students who have an illness that prevents them from attending classes. The robotic remote presence solution is a virtual solution for this problem. During the procurement end-users were involved through a co-innovation scenario process. This SME friendly process included a series of workshops and observations in multidisciplinary working groups. More information.

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Builder and drinks firm in battle for events venue as tender process collapses - Independent.ie

A bitter battle has erupted between property developer Owen O'Callaghan and BAM/Heineken Ireland over Cork's €50m concert venue, its answer to Dublin's O2 and Belfast's Odyssey Arena.

 

Tensions deepened after Cork City Council was last week forced to abandon a public tender process for the giant events centre amid fears any winning bid would not be legally valid.

The council confirmed via a posting on the EU tenders website that it was suspending a lengthy tender process for the new 7,000-seater venue. It will instead opt for a "direct negotiating process" with the two main interested parties, Mr O'Callaghan and BAM/Heineken Ireland.

Both have tabled rival bids for €16m in promised city council and National Lottery funding.

The proposals were ready to proceed to immediate construction, but the new process will delay the project by several months.

The process collapsed amid concerns that the tender system was not legally valid after US events centre operator, Live Nation, which runs Dublin's O2, withdrew from the two main bids.

Live Nation's withdrawal came after it voiced concerns over conditions applied by City Hall. It was feared that these conditions could have an impact on the future commercial operations of the proposed venue. Only one tender was submitted to the city council by the July 4 deadline, from BAM/Heineken. Mr O'Callaghan, who is leading the rival project, opted not to submit a tender amid concerns it would not be legally valid without having an events operator fully on board.

"We are not surprised at this outcome," Mr O'Callaghan told the Sunday Independent.

"The withdrawal of Live Nation, the proposed operator for both bidders, from the process some weeks ago ensured that the competitive process around public funding for the project could not be finalised."

However, the developer insisted that his firm was still very interested in providing a modern events centre for Cork.

"We will look carefully at the new process that is being put in place by the city council and assess whether it can form a realistic basis for the delivery of this important project for Cork," he said.

BAM/Heineken also said it remains committed to providing an events centre.

The drinks company's bid is focussed on the old Beamish & Crawford brewery site on South Main Street in the city centre. It argues that locating the venue on its site will help transform one of Cork's most ancient areas and enhance nearby attractions, including St Fin Barre's Cathedral, the Medieval city walls and the 18th Century English Market. The O'Callaghan project involves a site at Albert Quay.

The outline project has secured a promise of €10m in National Lottery funding and €6m in city council grants. More than 200 jobs hinge on the venue going ahead.

Sunday Independent

- See more at: http://www.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/builder-and-drinks-firm-in-battle-for-events-venue-as-tender-process-collapses-30513269.html#sthash.FH0cjjUR.dpuf

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Leaked CETA Treaty: Major Blow to Buy Local | The Tyee

If one country is negotiating a treaty with a union of 27 countries, you might think that those 27 countries would have by far the most people in the negotiations. Not true for CETA: In some negotiations of the free trade deal between Canada and the European Union, Canadians have greatly outnumbered Europeans, one participant told the Tyee.

The reason Canada sent so many people is that the provinces have a say in CETA, and they will be heavily affected by the deal. The treaty will open up public procurement not only at the national level, but also at the provincial and local level. CETA is going much further in this regard than any previous trade agreements signed by Canada.

The outcome isn't what the provinces and municipalities had hoped for. CETA will likely severely crimp if not end "buy local" strategies at all levels of government in Canada.

Many local governments and municipalities have used public tenders to foster a stronger local economy, requiring, for example, that winning bidders employ people in the region. Or governments have tried to strengthen the local food movement, as the city of Toronto does with its local food procurement for public child care.

But with CETA in place, it won't be possible to favour local suppliers when governments buy. Under the rules of free trade, European companies must not be discriminated against.

Thresholds vary


The final documents that leaked yesterday give the outlines of the procurement process, but the crucial details are in the appendix which hasn't yet been published. But inside sources have revealed to the Tyee the precise thresholds, above which tenders will have to follow the CETA rules.

The thresholds above which CETA rules will apply vary depending on the business sector and on the level of government. And they are so low that the lion's share of public contracts will be covered. In the final CETA text, the thresholds are written in the international currency SDR (Special Drawing Rights), a currency the International Monetary Fund uses. In construction, the threshold is set for all levels of government at 5 million SDR, which equals $8.3 million in Canadian dollars.

For other procurements, the threshold for national governments is $130,000 SDR ($217,000 CAD). For provinces and publicly-owned companies the thresholds vary. On average, they are at $200,000 SDR ($335,000 CAD). For local governments, the threshold is the highest at $355,000 SDR ($593,000 CAD).

The CETA deal does not allow splitting contracts into smaller amounts to circumvent the rules. The authors of the text have included a specific clause to prevent such behaviour.

Furthermore, Canada has to establish a common IT platform on which government, provinces and municipalities must list their offers. That might produce additional costs for Canadian governments, but will on the other hand foster transparency in the bidding process. This provision is meant to combat corruption.

The logic driving the opening up of local procurement to bidding by European firms is that it could result in lower costs to taxpayers.

Under the final wording of CETA just leaked, environmental or social considerations can be applied to procurement contracts by public institutions, which still could ask specifically for an environmentally-friendly produced product, as long as the requisition doesn't state that the product has to be local.

The same is true for social considerations. It would be perfectly fine with CETA to require the supplier to include a certain percentage of women or minorities in their staff, though it won't be possible to hire specifically "local" or "Canadian" people.

Water utilities exempted

Water resources are explicitly exempted from CETA, which states: "Each Party has the right to protect and preserve its natural water resources and nothing in this Agreement obliges a Party to permit the commercial use of water for any purpose, including its withdrawal, extraction or diversion for export in bulk."

This may comfort those who worried CETA would force privatization of public water utilities. Consider, however, this further provision: "Where a Party permits the commercial use of a specific water source, it shall do so in a manner consistent with the Agreement."

In other words, once a water utility has been privatized by a Canadian government body, it will be hard to make it public again, because then comes into play another highly controversial part of the CETA treaty, investor rights provisions that would drive up settlement costs.

There is also the question of what happens once water is bottled and used in a commercial context.

In this regard, CETA has fulfilled the fears of many opponents, said Garry Neil, executive director of the Council of Canadians. "Water isn't really protected under CETA," he told The Tyee. "Once a government allows water to be bottled, it's no longer protected.

Toni Saraiva - EISC Ltd - Enterprise Europe - WinningTenders.eu's insight:

Very alarmist article and probably to be taken with caution as like in the EU, local cannot be favoured directly but plenty of dispositions will in effect favour local companies.

+ imagine the cost of European sending their products to Canada compared to a Canadian company supplying the same products...

A critical look through this article is needed...

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New EU Directives: A Silver Bullet For Government Procurement?

New EU Directives: A Silver Bullet For Government Procurement? | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

As someone who inhabits the world of public sector procurement, I’ve seen first-hand how hotly anticipated the new public procurement directives have been. The Cabinet Office has highlighted its role in shaping the new directives, emphasising that they will reduce ’red tape’, enhance flexibility and boost small and medium enterprises (SMEs). How, though, will the new directives help realise the government’s objectives?


Reduce red tape - if not the internal red tape


The new directives are designed to facilitate faster and simpler procurement, for example by reducing minimum time limits for bidder responses and requiring only the winning bidder to provide supporting documents.


Although these measures would reduce the workload of bidders and authorities, the real red tape often lies with managerial behaviours (which have less to do with the directives). A typical procurement project – especially for a major deal – has several layers of approval and sometimes requires sign off from third parties. It is commonplace to witness days or weeks of ‘reading and thinking’ time before making a call.


With these levels of administration, it is easy to see how even a relatively straightforward procurement exercise could turn into a Normandy-landing initiative - in other words, a big event – despite the simplified directives.


Increase flexibility - but buyers must still be cautious before closing the competition


The new directives allow "negotiation", and this can be seen as a throwback to pre-2006 and a more relaxed negotiated procedure. This has created a groundswell of excitement because authorities can defer difficult issues until preferred bidder stage, instead of having to resolve them with all bidders before inviting offers.


However, good practice is that all issues should be resolved in a competitive situation to minimise the value of the deal being eroded in contract. Therefore, the idea that we will revert to the pre-2006 practice gives false hope because the final tender stage will be held with all the bidders and negotiation will not be permitted after that point. This means authorities will end up negotiating with all bidders until they are confident that all difficult issues are resolved. In essence, there is no change to current best practice.


Boost SMEs (for the right type of contract)


The expectation is that the new directives will benefit SMEs because authorities will be encouraged to use smaller lots, limit the use of the ’turnover multiple’ test and allow bidders to self-certify their ability.


Of course, we all know that there are potential economic gains from promoting the use of SMEs in government, but as we saw with the Ministry of Justice’s court translation services, using smaller suppliers is not without its risks. It is unrealistic and unconstructive to encourage authorities to ignore these risks in favour of helping smaller businesses. Authorities will need to be aware of the risks when encouraging SMEs to compete for large, complex or high profile contracts – the new directives cannot diminish these risks.


The key to running successful procurement processes remains sticking to the essential basics: well organised plans and processes, a strategy that balances the size of the opportunity with likely players in the market, balanced governance and comprehensive documentation proportionate to the risk or complexity of the contract being let. The new regulations may make small gains around the edges, but are unlikely to bring wholesale change.


Yoon Chung is a government procurement expert at PA Consulting Group

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EU raps State over tendering for new postcodes - Independent.ie

EU raps State over tendering for new postcodes - Independent.ie | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

THE Government has been criticised by EU authorities after a mistake excluded smaller companies from tendering for the contract to design the country’s new €24m postcode system.

 

However, despite the error, Irish authorities have escaped with a slap on the wrist and the tender process will not have to be rerun.

The European Commission made the finding after a complaint from Cork businessman Gary Delaney, who runs a GPS technology firm.

He was unable to compete for the project because  his company’s turnover was deemed too low.

As part of the competition, bidding firms had to have an annual turnover of at least €40m.

The commission found that there should have been an allowance for smaller firms to bid as part of consortiums, so they could rely on the combined turnover of consortium members.

A letter sent to the Government by the commission, which has been seen by the Irish Independent, warned that Irish authorities should “avoid similar errors in future” and asked for measures to be put in place to avoid a repeat of the situation, but it did not impose any sanctions. The 10-year contract to manage Eircode was won by professional services company Capita Ireland in January. It is being supported in the project by consultancy firms BearingPoint and Autoaddress.

 

Despite finding the error, the commission said that it “could not establish any violation of EU public procurement law that would justify the opening of an infringement procedure”.

Meanwhile, the Freight Transport Association of Ireland, an umbrella body which represents 200 firms including parcel delivery giants UPS and FedEx, has written to Communications Minister Alex White expressing concern about the new postcode system, Eircode, which is being rolled out next spring.

Under the plan 2.2m addresses will get a seven-digit code.

The first three digits will be a routing key, which will be shared by many properties in the same area and is aimed at helping in the sorting of mail.

But the last four digits in each code will be random, meaning they will not be sequential for homes which are side by side.

The letter argues that “a sequenced postcode is needed to allow for the more efficient loading of vehicles as well as delivery times”.

It said the planned system will not give consumers improved delivery times nor cheaper delivery costs.

- See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/eu-raps-state-over-tendering-for-new-postcodes-30498098.html#sthash.qS5gjZVh.dpuf ;

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Decoding jargon: what public servants say and what they actually mean

Decoding jargon: what public servants say and what they actually mean | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it
An ex civil servant shares his A to Z of the sector-specific linguistic shorthand that pours out of the public sector every day

 

I do it. You do it. All public servants do it.

I'll rephrase that. Our ongoing public service career path progression necessitates the utilisation of sector-specific linguistic shorthand.

Jargon. Don't you love it?

I love it so much I collect it. It's not hard. It pours out of the public sector every day – from politicians, leaders, managers, professionals, even communications staff. In publications, committee reports, press releases, statements written and spoken, on the telly and on the radio, and all over the web.

Here's just a small part of the dictionary of jargon I maintain. First the jargon and then what it actually means.

ability spectrum
as in "the lower end of the ability spectrum", or less able people

bronze commander
how the police describe someone in charge on the ground

carriageway defects
known to most of us as road faults

drawdown
as in "commence drawdown" – how the military describe leaving Afghanistan

early years practitioners
workers who look after young children

flatlining
not growing, sometimes found with its friend the 'double dip'

going forward
what simple folk call "in future"

hypothecation
pledging money by law to a specific purpose (I can't resist John Prescott's "speed cameras paid for themselves because we brought hypothecation and you might understand that ...")

integer
also known as a number

JSA
job seekers' allowance. Acceptable in a technical discussion but not in a radio interview

key
just means important

lacking
as in my dictionary is lacking an example starting with L. Surely erudite Guardian public leaders will flood me with examples …

mentee
a horrible word for someone who is mentored

notspot
the opposite of a hotspot – what most people call "no signal"

optimal
best. If it's best, just say so

pre-trial confinement capability
how the Pentagon describes a remand prison

quintile
what smarty-pants statisticians call a fifth

redaction
removing or withholding sensitive or confidential material, or "censorship dressed up with a pretty ribbon", as someone said

stakeholder engagement
also known as consultation

top slicing
removing part of something, usually a budget

upstream interventions
nothing to do with rivers, it simply means early actions

voids
as in "retail voids", or empty shops.

womancession
a recession particularly affecting women

For X and Y, see L above

zero-sum
a situation in which the gain of one approach is exactly balanced by the loss of another. It is often used opaquely, as in "the relationship between platform and agile is not zero sum"

We all use jargon without thinking. It's fine as a technical shortcut with colleagues. But please don't use it when you communicate with other people. It often uses more words than needed, obscures meaning, leads to ambiguity and misunderstanding, patronises and annoys people, helps makes public service ineffective and doesn't do your reputation any good.

OK? Has my evidential base been sufficient to engage with you as public sector stakeholders mindful of sector-wide reputational issues?

Roger White tells a white lie in this article. He no longer uses work jargon as he's a former public servant, or as some would have it, a senior. You can check all the jargon he's collected, including where he found it, on his HelpGov blog

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How Does Procurement Rebrand Itself From ‘Cost Saver’ To ‘Strategic Partner’?

How Does Procurement Rebrand Itself From ‘Cost Saver’ To ‘Strategic Partner’? | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it
In this guest post, Procurement Leaders invites Xchanging Procurement Services Graham Copeland to touch on some of the steps that functions can take to rebrand themselves to their internal counterparts.
 
Is procurement considered a strategic partner within your organisation? If you answered ‘Yes’ you are sadly still in the minority.

Other business functions, such as HR, Marketing, Finance, and Operations, are measured against hard KPIs like attrition or market share but they’re also recognized for providing value beyond that single dimension. They are recognised for their strategic contribution to the business.

Procurement on the other hand, is most often measured against one sole metric – savings.

Despite things like balance scorecards, risk and the CSR agenda being in place - all things that in most other departments would be the focus of performance measurement – more often than not, savings is the only metric used to measure the success of the CPO. This, unsurprisingly, causes procurement professionals some angst.

The general feeling among purchasing teams and procurement departments is that they provide a strategic function and should thus be recognised as a strategic partner. Yes, they deliver cost savings – an extraordinary amount of savings if you speak to some of our customers – but the value they provide is far greater. Unfortunately, to date, very few industries have taken steps to recognise procurement for that additional value.

Either they agree but don’t know how to enact the change required or they disagree and feel procurement isn’t a core function and thus non-strategic.

Assuming your company does believe in procurement’s contributions beyond savings, you might be asking how can you measure performance of procurement so that it moves up that value chain and is recognised as a strategic function? Here are some suggestions:

Cost-Conscious Culture
A good procurement department can change the way your business thinks about money. With training programmes for all employees and incentives for good behaviour, procurement can persuade stakeholders to think about spending money differently – to think about company money as if it were their very own: to self-question projects and suppliers before committing funds and to treat those funds with the discipline they deserve. The effect is the creation a cost-conscious culture within a business is a strategic function; the extent to which a procurement team can achieve that is a metric they could be measured on.

Coverage of Competitive Practices
A good procurement department can change the way your business selects suppliers. Clearly, in every business there are preferred suppliers - relationships built over years with people they trust. Unfortunately, supplier selection based on past dealings or gut feelings makes it impossible to know whether or not you’re being taken advantage of or if competitor pressure is being applied. A strict competitive process for supplier selection ensures value for money on every transaction and yields insight around the true worth of a relationship. The extent to which a competitive process is adhered to is a strategic metric that can indicate how effectively procurement is performing and therefore how valuable its involvement is.

Supplier Innovation
A good procurement department can change the way your business innovates. Historically, companies have been very good at telling suppliers what to do rather than listening to what they have to say. Now, more and more companies are relying on suppliers to provide them with insight on business activities. Integrating suppliers into the business - with regular dialogue between key suppliers and top management or by inviting suppliers to forums, workshops or other idea sharing activities - can lead to better product development, better campaign and sale activity, more operational efficiencies and so on. Engaging suppliers for their ideas, innovation and input is a strategic procurement function and the extent to which it’s achieved is a performance metric that could be used.

Although not necessarily tangible, all three of these activities, if done effectively, can be observed. Allowing procurement to be measured for their strategic performance will in turn motivate them to be more strategic and I hypothesize, business leaders will see the true effect when looking at their share price and overall business profitability.
 
Graham Copeland is head of sales & marketing, Xchanging Procurement Services (Europe). Find out more about Xchanging here.
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Estonian island ferry procurement could fail

Estonian island ferry procurement could fail | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it
The public procurement for finding a ferry operator for the ferry routes between Estonia's mainland and bigger islands is likely to fail since the state-owned port operator Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn) and Saaremaa Laevakompanii (Saaremaa Shipping Company) are not likely to participate, LETA\/Postimees writes.

 

The deadline of the procurement that was organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs is Monday and till that date arrives, Minister of EconomyUrve Palo does not wish to call the procurement a failure yet. "I cannot, I am not allowed to speculate and give any indications to the market," she said.

 

The public procurement for finding an operator for ten years, starting October 2016, for the Kuivastu-Virtsu (mainland-Saaremaa island) and Rohuküla-Heltermaa (mainland-Hiiumaa island) ferry routes was announced in spring. The Ministry sent an invitation to participate to a dozen ship operators.

 

Two days ago, Saaremaa Laevakompanii (SLK), parent firm of Väinamere Liinid OÜ, that operates the ferry routes at the moment, sent a letter to the Minister, asking the conditions of the procurement to be changed. The letter hinted that if conditions are not changed, they will not take part in the contest. The letter, signed by SLK manager Tõnis Rihvk stated that while SLK wants to participate at the procurement, it is made very difficult due to unrealistic deadlines and other disproportional conditions set to the bidders. For example, the bidder should have 4 ferries that correspond to requirements of the procurement by October 1, 2016, which is two years away. SLKcurrently has 3 such ships and Rihvk said that building even one ship corresponding to the procurement requirements in such a short time is unrealistic.

 

Estonian state-owned company Tallinna Sadam, who has received from the owner a clear guideline to participate in the procurement, had to admit at the beginning of the week that its tender for the purchase or construction of four suitable ferries was a failure.

 

The company's council, that met two days ago, authorised the company's board to continue the search for ships. The company's board member Allan Kiil said they now seek to find the ships via direct negotiations with manufacturers and ship owners. They even plan to negotiate with owners of the ships that SLK now uses. SLK belongs to Vyacheslav Leedo, but not the ships – they are owned by real estate businessman Olav Miil-related holding companies.

 

Minister Urve Palo said that no compromises are made with SLK since the letter to change the conditions came so late.

 

If the procurement fails, the state has two options: either to announce the next procurement or launch direct negotiations with ship operators. "There is still two years of time. I believe that we will find a solution, I will work to in the name of that to the end," Palo said.

 

Just like Rihvk, Palo notes that two years is too short a time in the shipbuilding industry. The state should have had to start looking for the operator of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa lines several years earlier.

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The Trouble with Procurement « URBACT The blog

The Trouble with Procurement « URBACT The blog | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it
Hey, lets talk about procurement.……

You still there? Yes, procurement has a bit of a problem doesn’t it. But if I kick off with – “Hey, lets talk about how cities use their resources to get better results”, then it’s probably a different matter.
So what is it about the P word? Surely, we’re only talking about the way in which public authorities package and commission work. We’d all agree that this is important, so why do so many of us switch off as soon as the word is mentioned?

Ever played word association? Try it with ‘Procurement’. I just did and came up with ‘red tape’ ‘bureaucracy’ ‘files’ ‘accountants’ (it gets worse) and  ‘people who like to say NO.” So I think it’s fair to say that Procurement has an image problem.

But as a process it’s not going to go away.  For those of us who like to say yes, and who have a change agenda for cities, this is a shared problem.

So, what’s to be done?

Well, its seems like quite a lot actually. Look around and the picture is not as gloomy as you might think.  Driven by the need for fresh ideas, better value for money and service innovation, procurement officers are being dragged into the 21st Century in cities across Europe and beyond.

A catalyst in this transition is the impact of open innovation processes, including the growing acknowledgment of the power of the crowd. In the context of business organisations, it was Henry Chesbrough, open innovation guru, who challenged the old, closed innovation model.  He ridiculed the prevailing assumption that all of the best ideas could reside in any single organisation, no matter how smart it was.

The limitations of the standard municipal procurement model

His mantra of open innovation applies equally to cities. Given the myriad of players out there – including other cities full of enterprising agencies – doesn’t it make sense for cities to cast their net as widely as possible when looking for solutions, tapping into the power of the crowd.  This can be a challenge to traditional public sector procurement models, which tend to be targeted at specific potential providers.

Another limitation in the typical procurement model is the assumption that the client knows the precise specification of the service they need. Even a basic awareness of creativity principles tells us that this drastically narrows down the options for an innovative solution. Surely it makes more sense to identify as clearly as possible the challenge you face and then put that out to the wider world to invite creative responses.

Happily, that is what we are seeing increasingly often across the world and closer to home.

How are cities approaching this differently?

At the European level, cities are interested in peer-to-peer solutions, which is one of the reasons that URBACT works so well. But there are also some technology-driven models that are attracting the attention of city decision makers. One of these is Living Labs Global Award (LLGA) operated by Citymart. This provides a platform for cities to bring their challenges to a community of their peers.  Barcelona, London, Paris and Moscow are amongst the European cities participating in this process, which operates on a commercial basis.

York, an URBACT Lead Partner city on the Genius Open  project, is also involved. Through LLGA it has transferred its innovation model to Capetown.  Other solutions sourced via the platform include smart streetlighting, parking sensors and city tagging smart phone apps for visitors. A major strength of the platform is that participating cities can use it to develop their Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) base. 95% of the challenges are won by SMEs, who are often deterred by standard public sector commissioning procedures.

The LLGA model provides a peer framework and an off the shelf methodology that can be customised to each city’s needs. But many cities are exploring new ways to generate market solutions to the problems they face without entering these kind of formal structures. They often find that open challenge approaches are particularly effective when trying to engage ‘non-traditional’ service providers, who might be more likely to produce innovative and new solutions to long-standing problems.

The New York City Innovation Zone (iZone) functions as an incubation lab for the city’s Education Department. The iZone has used open calls and hackathons to source fresh approaches to supporting young people’s educational development in one of the world’s most diverse cities. For example, their Gap App Challenge attracted software developers to provide solutions to the challenge of engaging pupils in mathematics. The call  received over 160 eligible submissions and the twelve winning entrants are now piloting their products in schools across the city.

The iZone was developed under former NYC Mayor Bloomberg, and of course the Bloomberg Foundation is currently hosting the Mayors Challenge.  This provides another forum for cities to identify their priority challenges and to seek new and innovative solutions. NESTA, which is also an active partner in the Mayors Challenge has recently completed some interesting research on effective innovation teams around the world (i-teams) which includes examples of new procurement approaches, including the New York experience.

Sharing and finding out more

Looking ahead, On October 9th The European Commission will host an event for cities focused on innovation and effective approaches to sustainable urban development. The Urban Development Network (UDN) event  will provide an opportunity to hear about some of the experiences described here at first hand, as LLGA, NESTA and the Bloomberg Foundation will all be involved. It will also be a chance to find out more about the Commission’s Innovative Actions programme for cities, launching in 2015.

Finally, the URBACT workstream on Social Innovation in cities has a particular interest in how they are adapting systems to encourage and promote change. The workstream is gathering evidence from cities across Europe and you can contribute and find out more on their website.

So, exciting times in the world of city procurement it would seem. Let’s share the word!

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Francis Maude: Be prepared for these procurement reforms

New government reforms based on Lord Young’s recommendations in his paper, Growing Your Business, are just months away. Local authorities have a pivotal role in their success.

 

We have already made progress and are now pushing even further to help small firms win more of the £230bn that the public sector spends every year on goods and services.

The reforms are good news – bringing more choice and competition, ensuring greater value and higher standards. Local authorities will need to prepare now so that they are ready when the legislation comes along.

We have been steadily addressing and removing barriers that historically have prevented small businesses from having a fair bite of the cherry. We are on track to deliver our aspiration of awarding 25% of central government procurement spend, by value, to small and medium-sized enterprises directly and through the supply chain, by 2015.

The government’s reforms include:

Removing pre-qualifying questionnaires (PQQs) for all low value contracts and standardising all others;Increasing the visibility of opportunities by advertising tender opportunities through the refreshed Contracts Finder web portal;Introducing prompt payment within 30 days all the way down a public sector contract supply chain. 

This will help level the playing field for all suppliers, provide more choice and ensure greater value and better services from heightened competition between suppliers.

Most of this legislation will come into effect within months and local authorities are encouraged to act quickly.

More legislation will follow next year, designed to make public sector procurement practice more streamlined and efficient, removing further barriers for small businesses.

A new and improved Contracts Finder

Since January 2011, Contracts Finder has proved to be a critical tool for suppliers, providing a single place for all public sector tenders to be advertised. 

We recognised the system needed updating to keep up with an ever-changing digital landscape. We listened to your feedback and made it easier to input your procurement opportunities. We also acted on supplier feedback by making the search tool more powerful and intuitive. The new version will launch in October and will also be accessible on mobiles and tablets.

The new solution will link to as many central government and local authority portals as technically possible and local authorities should check with their portal providers to find out how they will feed into this.

We encourage you all to act now. We can all play a role in supporting small businesses.

To keep updated, visithttps://ccs.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/i-am-buyer/introduction-buyers/current-procurement-regulations/supporting-smes

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office

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Big businesses have no plans to increase contracting with SMEs – survey | Supply Management

The vast majority of large businesses have no plans to increase the number of SMEs they contract with.

A survey carried out by IFF on behalf of Achilles , found just 12 per cent of companies plan to expand the amount of small businesses they contract with. Eighty per cent will keep the numbers the same, and 8 per cent don't intend to give them more contracts or did not know what they would do.

Some 67 per cent of companies said they use small suppliers regularly, but they tend to be awarded just up to a quarter of all deals.

The poll of 146 procurement managers at companies with more than 250 employees, also found 26 per cent of buyers were concerned about the financial stability of SMEs. There were also worries about adherence to standards and regulations, although benefits such as flexibility, efficiency and being closer to customer needs were cited as advantages in contracting with small businesses.

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Star EU won 70 out of 70 tenders it applied for - The Slovak Spectator

Star EU won 70 out of 70 tenders it applied for - The Slovak Spectator | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

NUMEROUS municipalities around Slovakia have made use of the external project management services of a single company under questionable circumstances. Transparency watchdogs have labelled this a potentially major case of cronyism in drawing EU funds and are calling on the European Commission to look into the matter.

On August 25 the Sme daily broke the story on the company Star EU, which has been extraordinarily successful in public procurements, winning 70 out of 70 bids that it applied for.

The circumstances of Star EU have been described in a study written by Ivan Kuhn from the non-governmental think tank Conservative Institute of M. R. Štefánik. In May 2014, Kuhn, who is also a municipal politician in the town of Rožňava and the deputy chairman of the non-parliamentary Civic Conservative Party (OKS), reported on the peculiar way in which Star EU has won dozens of tenders in municipalities around Slovakia, mostly in those with mayors nominated by the ruling Smer party.

In the study, Kuhn charges that back in 2008, Star EU, a Slovak subsidiary of the Czech-based Star company, which specialises in advisory services for drawing EU funds, was recommended to mayors nominated by the ruling Smer party and by Smer politicians, and that the company has won all of the tenders it has been identified as having applied for.

 

Clear winner Star EU

 

Kuhn’s report goes back to 2008, when the current labour minister and then general secretary of Smer, Ján Richter, attended, along with then and current Prime Minister Robert Fico, a closed-door meeting with mayors nominated by Smer in Košice and Prešov Regions, on using finances from EU funds. Representatives of the Star EU agency attended the meeting, too, and Richter reportedly recommended that the mayors use the services of this company when preparing their projects for drawing EU funds.

“We have learned that the Star EU agency is prepared to methodically help us in the area of projects, technical documentation and with the preparation of other documents,” Mikuláš Krajkovič, mayor of the village of Vápeník, told Sme back in 2008.

Since then, Star EU has been involved in drafting projects for drawing EU funds in at least 70 projects submitted by 33 municipalities all around Slovakia. The company earned cumulatively over €1.4 million on the projects.

 

Case studies point to high prices

 

Drawing on the case studies of Rožňava and Senica, where Star EU was employed for external project management, Kuhn states that there are reasons to believe that the company’s services were overpriced and that the bids for tenders were likely coordinated.

In both Rožňava and Senica, as well as in the cases of all the 70 projects Kuhn identified, the selection of the provider of external project management was carried out in a type of tender where only three companies are invited and no public notice about the tender is made. This is possible under the public procurement law for services below €30,000 excluding VAT. In the vast majority of the 70 investigated projects, the same six companies (Star EU, ENICCO, FD Consulting, I.S.F., SQM, and PLUSCA) were invited to submit bids for the tender, Kuhn states.

When compared with the case of Nová Baňa, which procured similar services through an open tender, it turns out that the services could have been procured for three times less, according to Kuhn. While in Nová Baňa the costs of the services represented 0.7 percent of all the project costs, the costs of the 70 projects for which Star EU provided its services were on average 2.18 percent, according to Kuhn. Based on that figure, he estimates that the municipalities could have saved almost €1 million if the provider of the external project management services had been sought through regular public tenders like the one in Nová Baňa.

“At the same time, we must stress that the identified 70 projects are but a fraction of the overall number of projects implemented in Slovakia with financial support from EU funds,” Kuhn wrote in the study.

Additionally, Kuhn points out that in 28 out of the 70 identified projects, the public procurement process was contracted out to the company Tender Profit, which the study found to be personally interlinked with Star EU through Jan Reichelt and Michal Reichelt, who are both either owners or members of the boards of both companies. Such a connection would constitute a conflict of interest.

 

EU to step in

 

Kuhn noted in his report that he turned to Slovakia’s Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) as well as the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) with the results of his study.

Based on Sme’s most recent reports, the European Commission will request and analyse the information on these tenders from the Slovak authorities. At the same time, however, it is the member states which bear responsibility for drawing EU funds.

Following the media reports, the anti-corruption unit of the National Criminal Agency launched an investigation into the suspicious procurements that Kuhn highlighted in his study, Sme reported on August 28.

OKS chairman and head of the Conservative Institute Ondrej Dostál has filed a motion with the General Prosecutor’s Office, and his party, together with the NOVA movement, is also lodging a motion with the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) and the ÚVO.

 

Smer’s brief reaction

 

“It is transparent that an opposition politician, OKS deputy chairman Ivan Kuhn, is opening a six-year-old topic through the Sme daily two months before the municipal elections in which he wants to run for mayor of Rožňava,” Labour Minister Richter told Sme in response to questions about Star EU and his involvement in recommending the company to mayors.

Fico did not address the Star EU affair, but Agriculture Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek confirmed for Sme that his ministry, which manages the Regional Operation Programme through which municipalities draw EU funds, was looking into the tenders, as well as hundreds of other projects for which external project management services were procured.

“As early as Monday [August 25] I ordered all the projects to be reviewed, but there are more than 1,000 of them,” he said, as quoted by Sme.

Jahnátek, who has been at the helm of the Agriculture Ministry since 2012, claims that he excluded the possibility of hiring an external project management company paid for with EU funds in such projects.

 

Watchdog sees ‘chronic cronyism’

 

“This study also confirms that EU funds suffer from chronic cronyism,” non-governmental Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) director Gabriel Šípoš told Sme.

Šípoš believes increased public control of tenders would help prevent cronyism, and that public control could be enhanced if all municipalities were required to publish their contracts in the central contract registry rather than on their individual websites as they do now. As a result, if one were to find out how many contracts Star EU signed with municipalities around the country, one would have to search through almost 3,000 websites, Šípoš noted.

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Innovation-oriented public procurement in North Rhine-Westphalia

Innovation-oriented public procurement in North Rhine-Westphalia | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it
 Mülheim an der Ruhr, GermanyAn event exploring pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovative products and services (PPI) in the framework of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme will take place in Mülheim an der Ruhr (Germany) from 10.00 - 14.30 on 29 September 2014.

The discussion will be followed by an experience report on an EU PCP project carried out in the field of telemedicine, the first of its kind in North Rhine-Westphalia.

A workshop will be held in the afternoon, which will identify common requirements for the purchase or development of innovative solutions. 

Those interested can register online until 24 September at the link below. Participation is free of charge, and the conference language is German.http://innovationprocurement-nrw.zenit.de/
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Poland: the latest changes in Polish Public Procurement Law — the biggest amendment since 2004 | Briefings | The Lawyer

On 25 July 2014, the Polish Parliament passed on an amendment of the Public Procurement Law. The changes introduced by this legislation reflect suggestions put forward by the country’s entrepreneurs and representatives of its public administration. The amendments are designed to tackle the most serious problems encountered in the public procurement process in Poland, such as competition among economic operators based solely on price, social dumping and the impossibility of valorising already concluded contracts. The amendment will soon go to the Senate (the second chamber of the Polish Parliament) and will most likely come into force in the final quarter of 2014.

Currently, the outcome of public procurement tenders in Poland is usually determined only by the price criteria. This situation is unfavourable both for economic operators and contracting entities. Often, members of the first group, in their efforts to submit the ‘best’ (i.e. lowest-priced) offers, agree to carry out the contract at underestimated costs, which often confronts these entities with bankruptcy. The latter group, the contracting entities, have taken into consideration only one economic factor (i.e. price) and are likely to have received services or goods of low quality — or none at all, if the economic operator was declared bankrupt in the course of fulfilling the contract…

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6 ways to add competition to a public sector procurement process (first 2 here)

6 ways to add competition to a public sector procurement process (first 2 here) | Public Procurement - Europe | Scoop.it

The UK public sector procurement market is worth in the region of £150bn per year. Balancing quality and value is certainly a significant challenge.

Alongside supporting the process with appropriate technologyand guiding practitioners with effective best practice, maximising the level of effective competition in the market is perhaps the most crucial enabler to improving the value delivered by these budgets.

In public sector procurement, the guiding objective for authorities is to achieve value for money through fair and open competition. The Government defines value for money as “the optimum combination of whole life costs and quality”, but for fairness and competition, EU procurement law and principles (such as non-discrimination and transparency) also come into play.

Competition, then, is core to effective procurement and public bodies need to take steps to promote and encourage it. Below are 10 steps public sector procurers can take through the procurement process to help build and sustain a healthy level of competition.

Stage 1: Pre-procurement

The first stage in the standard procurement lifecycle is focused on strategy, planning and requirements definition. At this stage, authorities can also take action to nurture and drive competition.

1. Promote contract tender opportunities as widely as possible, using a variety of marketing channels to reach the largest potential marketplace.

2. Ensure engagement with the widest possible range of suppliers (especially where the marketplace is currently small) and consider innovative or alternative approaches to meeting contract requirements.

3. Where there isn’t a particularly competitive marketplace, take steps to encourage greater competition with the current supplier. And if there no (or minimal) competition, understand the capabilities of potential suppliers and consider adapting requirements accordingly or breaking the contract up into smaller requirements.

Stage 2: Tendering

From initial contact with bidders, through pre-qualification and selection, final tendering and the awarding of the contract authorities can address competition.

4. Make sure every bidder has access to exactly the same information about the contract with detailed requirements and accurate information. The more information they have the more accurate they will be able to make their pricing.

5. Manage bidders by including benchmarking within the terms of the contract, thereby encouraging tighter control of costs and performance.

6. Consider adjusting contract durations in order to achieve the maximum competitive outcome. Having shorter contracts with break clauses may deliver the potential for more competitive pricing as a result of the increased frequency of tendering.

A healthy competitive market benefits all participants in the public procurement process – and by following these basic tips, public authorities can help ensure that the spirit of competition is alive and well. Not only will the bidders be assured fairness and transparency in the tender process, but contracting authorities will reap commercial rewards – and value for money – as result of greater, more intense competition.

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Strong jump in buyers searching for suppliers Ι Construction Enquirer

A surge in buyers using the Constructionline register of prequalified contractors points to a continuing recovery in the industry.

Constructionline reported a 12% year-on-year increase in construction buyers’ use of its online procurement portal at the end of Q2 2014.

The figures are calculated from the number of tender lists and supplier searches run on the database.

Buyers’ use of  Constructionline increased by over 2% between March and June 2014, while the number of construction clients using the service to assess suppliers reached 2,665 in the second quarter – an increase of 31.

Constructionline’s subcontractor membership base also grew by 8% in the second quarter of 2014 and now totals in excess of 23,000 firms.

Neil Thompson, a director at Constructionline, said: “Over the past 12 months we’ve seen a steady rise in construction buyers using the service to assess suppliers, which all points towards increased activity on the horizon.

“While it’s evident that construction is benefiting from the wider UK recovery, there are new challenges facing the sector as it grows.

“The supply and demand issue has reversed since the downturn and there’s now a worry of capacity shortage among construction suppliers.

“To help combat the shortage of available subcontractors we expect more buyers will grow the number of construction partners they work with to deliver schemes.

“We regularly engage with buying organisations to help them source new suppliers through our meet the buyer events, supplier engagement days and webinars as well as advertising upcoming work opportunities on our noticeboard.”

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Green Procurement Guide for the Public Sector Ireland

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Middlesbrough FC aims to save £30,000 on food and drink procurement | Supply Management

Middlesbrough FC is aiming to achieve annual savings of £30,000 by outsourcing its food and beverage procurement.

The deal involves a review of all food-related purchasing at its Riverside Stadium and Rockcliffe Park training ground, while 10 per cent has already been saved in its food wholesale category through a supplier retendering process.

The work has taken place following the signing of a contract with Pelican Procurement Services which will oversee supplier tendering, sourcing, pricing negotiations and centralising invoicing and payments.

Mark Ellis, chief operating officer for the club, said they were aiming to save at least 12 per cent across all food and drink buying over a year.

“As a club, we host on average 25 football games per year, which brings crowds of around 16,000 on the concourses, in addition to serving around 700 meals in the hospitality areas,” he said. “We also host a range of conferences, banquets, weddings and other events. Our chefs are responsible for creating menus for the varying events but I felt it was time to bring in a procurement specialist to help not only reduce our food costs, but decrease the time our chefs spend on purchasing and administration.”

Shabaz Mohammed, managing director of Pelican Procurement Services, said: “We are delighted to be working with Middlesbrough Football Club to manage its food-related procurement. Our comprehensive service enables the club to completely outsource its purchasing requirements to us for its main Riverside Stadium facilities and also its training ground, Rockliffe Park."

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