Public Spend Matters Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from This Week


Public Spend Matters Europe is dedicated to the exciting and fascinating matters connected with European public sector procurement. As usual, before you think about switching off, it's worth remembering that 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've been discussing this week.

If you find anything interesting please do click through to the full article:

What Does the Eurovision Song Contest Tell Us About Europe Today?

This post certainly attracted a lot of attention this week. Peter Smith explored several geo-political issues highlighted by the contest that may well trouble Europe for years to come. Like: why was Poland's song, rated last in the panels’ opinion, given third place? Because so many Poles live in other European countries and could therefore vote in those countries – you can’t vote in your own country. That illustrates just what free movement around Europe has achieved. Up to now, many of us might consider that a positive ...

Evaluating and Scoring Price - Questionable Advice from Crown Commercial Service?

The UK Cabinet Office guidance around the use of the new Digital Outcomes and Specialists procurement framework produced some good advice, but we have some concern over the extensive section on evaluation. When it comes to evaluation criteria and evaluating price, it recommends a route that many public sector organisations do follow (certainly in the UK) when it comes to converting a cost number into a “score”. That number can then be combined with “quality” type scores to arrive at a total mark for each supplier, which informs the selection decision. But the method is flawed in our opinion.

Raj Sharma - on Economic Theory, Markets and Public Procurement

Can Economics Fix Public Procurement”? was written by Raj Sharma,  leader of the Public Spend Forum venture, which aims to help create an open, efficient and innovation-driven government supply market. The article has a message that is truly relevant to public procurement all over the world. “We talk a lot about "procurement reform." Instead, we should be looking at government purchasing through the lens of economics and how markets really work”. Procurement reform, he says, too often just leads to more conflicting rules that buyers and suppliers inevitably struggle to navigate. Instead, we need to focus on the end goals and ask whether we are trying to solve the right problems.

Prime Minister Introduces Open Contracting Data Standard to UK Public Procurement

The UK government hosted a big anti-corruption summit last week, and to accompany that a “Global Declaration against Corruption” was published. In terms of public procurement, the UK government says it will introduce “a more rigorous system, including additional conviction checks, to ensure that corrupt companies cannot be awarded government contracts”. The central procurement organisation, Crown Commercial Service (CCS), is to implement the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) by October 2016. “This means that the whole process of awarding public sector contracts - from the bidding right through to the building - will be visible to the public for the first time ..." So what is the Open Contracting Data Standard?

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