Daniel Moylan Doesn’t Like EU Procurement – So What Would Replace It?

A longer version of this article is available on our Public Spend Forum Europe website here.

The arguments in the UK about whether the country should leave the EU are intensifying as we approach the referendum date of June 23rd. Whilst public procurement is not perhaps as big an issue as the economy, immigration or European security, it is popping up regularly in the debate now.

Daniel Moylan is an elected councillor who represents the Queen’s Gate Ward on Kensington and Chelsea Council and was until recently Deputy Chairman of Transport for London. In an article about EU procurement on the “Conservative Home” website, he proves that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

His general argument is all about how terrible the EU procurement regulations are, and although he makes some sensible comments, he is silent on the biggest issue - exactly what he thinks might replace “EU regulations”. It is easy to criticise, harder to come up with alternatives.

Moylan also seems to have had some bad experiences of procurement and legal folk if his memories about very odd evaluation processes are correct. To be fair, Moylan does finish with some sensible comments.

Leaving the European Union would not free us from the need for procurement processes that make corruption difficult (and remember that we also have the sanction of the criminal law available to us when we discover corruption has occurred). But it would allow us to develop a system better adapted to our needs, one that encouraged bidders from all over the world, not merely from the EU, and was more capable of achieving good value for the taxpayer.

That’s great, but it says nothing about what this wonderful new system would actually look like. How would you ensure firms who are essentially bankrupt or phony don’t win contracts? How do you explain to bidders how you will mark their proposals? What marking scheme do you apply so you can show some fairness and lack of corruption?

Be assured, we would be delighted to feature any ideas Councillor Moylan has here, and if they are genuinely new and amazing, we suspect Brussels (or Westminster if we Brexit) would be very happy to get his input for the next round of Directives and Regulations! And you can read more about his issues with public procurement here.

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Voices (2)

  1. Dan:

    There’s nothing wrong with EU Procurement Regs that a bit of common sense won’t fix

  2. Ian R:

    The WTO Public Procurement Agreement doesn’t seem to get a mention, if we want to do business with other countries in the public sphere then we would need to sign up to that and show we had procurement policies broadly in line with others by allowing access to our own contracts, transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination – oh wait, I’m sure these principles are use elsewhere………………….

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