Public Spend Forum Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from this Week

Public Spend Forum Europe is dedicated to European public sector procurement, and aims to be a global community and knowledge network for public procurement and the public sector market. Around Europe, we are talking about well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by government and public sector bodies of some sort. Worth doing well, you might consider. So here is a roundup of what we were discussing this week. If you find anything interesting, please click through to the full article:

5th Annual Conference on Innovative Public Procurement - Berlin

We are now less than a month away from the major European Commission sponsored procurement event in Berlin on October 26th. This annual conference is DG GROW's flagship event, organised in cooperation with German public authorities, which typically gathers about 300 participants from across the EU private and public sectors, including many key stakeholders and policy makers. The conference is free to procurement people, although you have to get yourself to Berlin and pay for accommodation. The agenda looks strong and our own Peter Smith will be moderating one of the Panel Sessions: 'Simplifying the procurement process – implementing the ‘once-only’ principle.'

Beyond the Obvious: How public buying organisations help small firms get on frameworks

This guest post is from ESPO, the public sector buying organisation. It looks at how SMEs have traditionally been put off by the prospect of tendering, even if it meant the possibility of regular work in a pretty tough economy. ESPO research showed that small firms felt overwhelmed by the red tape of tendering and that they lacked the time and resources needed to commit to a tender process. It tells how the organisation has kick-started its engagement with suppliers with a new approach, like signing up to the Small Business Friendly Procurement Charter which creates positive procurement opportunities between small enterprises and the big buying organisations.

Albert Sanchez Graells Re-Imagines Public Procurement

In his article “Musings about the constraints to a reimagination of public procurement regulation”, Graells kicks off a significant piece of research that he hopes to undertake. He also hopes to gain input into this work from others. In effect, he is looking at what opportunities the UK might have post-Brexit in terms of re-defining public procurement law. However, any findings or recommendations will, we suspect, be just as relevant as potential changes for the EU as a whole. He identifies three strands to the work, which we outline in the post, and will follow up with more indepth coverage of the three 'constraints.'

Risk Aversion in Public Sector Procurement

One of the topics that came up at the recent Public Spend Forum Europe “Exchange” kick-off meeting was attitudes towards risk amongst the public sector procurement community. Our senior group, from across many different parts of the public sector, discussed how risk aversion could hold back procurement performance, and with it, the image and reputation of the public procurement profession. Many procurement professionals put compliance to regulations and avoiding any possibility of challenge or dispute right at the top of their priority list. Sometimes, that gets in the way of the best ideas, solutions, and commercial outcomes for the contracting authority. We have a few questions ...

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