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

It’s Friday, so it's time for a roundup of the articles published on Public Spend Matters Europe this week. The site, launched on September 1st, is building momentum and receiving good reception from the public procurement community around Europe and the comments fields are starting to get filled. There’s a new article every day so the volume of diverse and interesting reads is really starting to mount up. 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 – there’s lots to catch up on around Europe.

European SMEs Suffer From ‘Fragmented’ Finance Rules

The Association of European Chambers of Commerce, Eurochambres, has found that small and medium-size enterprises in Europe are being prevented from “shopping around” for funding. It says they will continue to struggle to gain access to funding from banks unless restrictions are removed. SMEs face a harsh investment climate due to “fragmented” rules for lenders and borrowers and a lack of “risk culture.” More and more businesses across member states are seeking alternative funding, but Eurochambres says enough isn't being done to meet the needs of SMEs and makes certain recommendations.

Procurement Process Flexibility - Great in Theory, Tricky in Practice

Some of the provisions in the new EU Directives, although designed with the best intentions to increase procurement process flexibility, may prove more challenging than we expect to implement properly. They may even have unforeseen consequences. The downside of more flexibility is that you might open up processes to greater fraud and corruption. While some EU and national legislators may mean well, they may be a little commercially naive.

Public Procurement Infringements Against Hungary Dropped

Last week, the European Commission dropped infringement proceedings opened against Hungary for a breach of EU procurement rules.  It charged that the country gave EC funds to pay for an electronic toll system without undergoing the appropriate tendering process. The tender took place with just two companies invited to take part for what the Hungarian government described as national security reasons. But the EC claimed that the country had failed to abide by EU procurement rules for transparency and non-discrimination. However, proceedings were abandoned owing to a, now closed, loophole in regulations.

Public Sector Job Interview? Here Are 4 Tips

Even in times of austerity, the public sector still recruits procurement people. Some will come from other public sector roles, whilst others will be looking to make the transition from the private sector into the government world. Peter gives four tips, from his experience as interviewee, a CPO looking to recruit, and an independent interviewer and selection panel member for senior roles, for anyone thinking of going into a public sector procurement role.

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