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

physical newspapersHere'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 summaryof 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.

Contract Variation – What Is Allowed Under EU Public Procurement Rules?

One of the more significant changes in the 2014 EU Procurement Directive is the clarification (or attempted clarification) of the rules around changes to contracts once they have been awarded. The new directives attempt to give greater clarity, and last week, Pedro Telles and Albert Sánchez Graells reached this topic on their marathon journey through all the UK Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Regulation 72 brings a roster of new(ish) rules to the fore. In general, modifications are possible but within very strict boundaries and only in the specified situations.Telles gives 5 main avenues to change a contract.

Public Sector Procurement – Why Buy Innovation?

The Procurement of Innovation Platform (PPI) has published a Guidance for Public Authorities on Public Procurement of Innovation – an easy-to-understand handbook for any public authority on how to procure innovation. The guide provides:
an introduction to PPI in practice; practical information on how to procure innovation; guidance on developing a strategy for PPI; explanations of procedures, definitions and answers to common questions; case studies and useful resources for further reading. The guide also goes into why procurement of innovation is not taking place across Europe on a large scale. It is based on the 2014 EU procurement directives and is ideal for all stakeholders involved in PPI.

Public Procurement in Greece – Good News and Bad News on Corruption

One of the problems for Greece over the years has been a culture of corruption which was too prevalent, and has negatively affected the economy in many ways. So we thought it was worth looking at some issues in that area with a public procurement angle. Our first stop was the “Business Anti-Corruption Portal” – a government-sponsored, one-stop shop anti-corruption compliance resource aimed at the business community. It gives a not very healthy view of corruption. Companies report that the unethical behaviour of companies in Greece represents a competitive disadvantage, that the government favours well-connected companies and individuals when deciding policies and contracts.

Building Supplier Involvement in Procurement – look at it from their perspective

Clearly, eProcurement in the public sector across Europe is becoming more prevalent, and this will continue as the mandate from the Commission pushes all contracting authorities to use electronic processes. However, the theme of our new paper is that many buyers do not consider the suppliers’ perspectives when choosing or operating eProcurement systems. Yet if suppliers find systems unfriendly to use and buyers difficult to work with, they may choose not to bid for contracts, and the buyer will suffer from a less dynamic and capable pool of potential suppliers.

Greek Crisis - Could Public Procurement Play a Role in a Revival?

Will suppliers to Greek public sector organisations become more nervous about supplying that government – and indeed others - if there is an increasing probability that they will never be paid? What other implications might follow the Greek decision? It is hard to see anything other than further weakening of the Euro - great for the German economy (and indeed others) but not so good for the UK, US and other competitors. If Greece goes back to the “new Drachma,” will this see a re-invigorated economy, or a slide into third world penury? Will the desperate economic position lead to more focus on reducing corruption and perhaps 'professionalising' public sector procurement?

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