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

Here is 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 briefsummaryof the main articles published that week on PSME. If you see somethingof interest, please click through and take a look at the whole thing.

Pedro Telles and the Public Procurement Podcasts — Dr Claire O’Brien on Human Rights

We have started a series of posts on the Public Procurement Podcasts – recorded interviews with Dr Pedro Telles, senior lecturer in Law at Swansea University in Wales, talking to other academics whose area of study is related to procurement. In this interview, Dr Telles discusses the intersection of human rights and public procurement with Dr Claire Methven O’Brien from the Danish Institute of Human Rights. She argues that in relation to the public procurement of goods and services, the state has an obligation to ensure human rights are protected in any commercial transactions and that the time has come for interpretations of public procurement laws to be scrutinised to a greater extent, and be aligned with the requirements of human rights norms.

Transparency International Looks at Secret Companies and their Role in Corruption

Transparency International is a brilliant not-for-profit organisation that campaigns globally against corruption and for openness in public life. Public procurement spend accounts for vast amounts of money in most countries, hence its attractiveness to the corrupt, fraudsters and criminals. One mechanism that plays into various types of fraud is the secret or disguised company. So one counter-mechanism against that is to really understand who controls the companies that bid for public sector contracts. As TI says, “When people hide behind secret companies, they can also hide their relationship to the people who make the decisions.”

Milton Keynes Loses Procurement Challenge, Judge Evaluates the Tenders!

A recent procurement challenge led to a subsequent fascinating legal case in the UK. The case looks set to go down as a landmark case in terms of public procurement regulations and case law. It is likely to be quoted many times in the future, we suspect, and has some serious and interesting implications for all public procurement practitioners and contracting authorities around Europe - we discuss, and in a forthcoming part 2 we give our thoughts on what procurement practitioners can learn from this.

New Irish Party Renua Calls for Public Procurement Reform – We Checked Their Policy - But Not a Word on Procurement 

With Government spending reaching €13 billion a year on goods and services from private sector service providers, new Irish party leader calls for a more level playing field for public procurement, to allow SMEs in the regions to have more involvement in contracts awarded by the State. And the party has published a policy on public procurement that calls for less centralisation, more social awareness and more use of technology. That sounds brilliant, so we had a good look at the newly released policy on their website - and guess what we found?

Italy Has Largest Number of Enterprises Selected in Latest Round of Horizon 2020 Project

In the latest round, phase one, of the Horizon 2020 programme’s 'SME Instrument' which ended in June, Italian enterprises are way out front in terms of numbers of enterprises selected to benefit from a grant to assess feasibility of their ideas. There have now been 168 Italian SMEs in total selected for phase one of the programme, second behind Spain with 192, and followed by the UK with 121. A total of 958 SMEs have been selected since phase one began, spanning 32 European nations. In phase two of the programme, the grant will be provided to undertake research and development, with emphasis on demonstration and market replication.

 

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