This Week’s Summary of Articles from Public Spend Matters Europe

Here's a summary of our stories from around Europe on Public Spend Matters Europe this week. There’s a new article every day and many are attracting comments from experts. Each Friday, we are featuring a brief summary of the main articles published that week on PSME. If you see something of interest, please click through and take a look at the whole thing.

eProcurement Interoperability: Discussions at Porto Event Highlight its Importance


Going back to the technology issue, Tavares sees a move from perhaps 300,000 different contracting authorities now, to "perhaps 100 clusters of electronic platforms" that will handle public procurement tender related activity. So inter-operability between these platforms becomes key. It is easy to understand why that is important if we look at it from the point of view of the supplier. The first barrier is simply language, even if we have more open access. Then there may be all the different requirements of various platforms in terms of how the supplier interacts and feeds in information. So do we need some "re-intermediation" of this eco-system?

European Mayors Challenge Report Highlights Innovative Solutions to Current City Challenges

The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ European Mayor’s Challenge aims to encourage local governments to develop innovative solutions to common challenges faced by cities today. A report released earlier this year outlined the objectives and results of the Challenge. A total of 155 cities from 28 countries submitted entries, collectively representing over 71 million people (roughly 10 percent of Europe’s population). The submissions covered a wide variety of issues but fell into five core themes: the economy, civic engagement, social inclusion, health and wellbeing, and the environment. The five winners were Barcelona, Athens, Kirklees, Stockholm and Warsaw, whose ideas would have a significant impact and could be transferred to other cities.


Innovation in Public Procurement : What Are the Challenges?

One of the keynote speeches at the recent e-public procurement conference in Porto (see picture) came from Maria Manuel Leitao, a Professor at the Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal, looking at innovation in public procurement. Innovation can address demand side issues (such as tools for citizens), or support the supply side (tools for public servants), or bridge the gap between the two. She posed three questions: 1. Why should the public sector be innovative? 2. How can the public sector be innovative? 3. What are the impacts on public procurement?


Report Finds “Strategic Behaviour” Around EU Procurement Thresholds in Sweden

A report by the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) investigated the impact of public procurement thresholds on the behaviour of public buyers in Sweden. Researchers found evidence of strategic “bunching” of tenders at EU thresholds. The report documents that procurement thresholds had an effect on the associated transaction costs and also found an ‘anomalous’ concentration of procurements with estimated values just below regulatory thresholds. The new directives allow a reduction in timescales for the standard procurement procedures, which may mean this sort of behaviour becomes less common. It will be interesting to see in a few years’ time if this changes the pattern that the researchers found here.


Professor Gustavo Piga at the Porto e-Public Procurement Conference

Professor Gustavo Piga is Professor of Economics at University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy. His presentation at Porto was “The Road Ahead” and he started by asking what had happened to the aims and objectives of the European Union: “The most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion” was what the Lisbon treaty of 2000 was aiming for (by 2010). So what has gone wrong, because it is quite clear that this aim is a long way from reality. Why is the European economy in such a bad state?

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