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

Six weeks in and our new site, Public Spend Matters Europe, is continuing to receive a good reception from the public procurement community around Europe. 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.

Brands and Trademarks Specified Too Often in EU Tenders - OFE Webinar

Too often, public organisations still specify brands or manufacturers of equipment or software in tenders. It is sometimes difficult to avoid but buyers are not best served when there is this sort of market power, restricting true open competition and working against real competition. By specifying one preferred supplier, public bodies throughout Europe are inadvertently helping dominant firms maintain their stronghold on markets to the detriment of smaller competitors. A webinar took place earlier this week hosted by Open Forum Europe - we will report back on the discussions at a later time.

Turkey Joins EU Financing Programme for SMEs

Last week Turkey and the European Commission signed an agreement for Turkey to join the EU’s Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises programme (COSME). As an economy particularly dependent on SMEs, Turkey could benefit hugely from the agreement. The nation has laid out foundations for developing a favourable regulatory framework for SMEs, but the COSME agreement should also boost competitiveness and innovation. Turkey’s involvement in the programme will also further strengthen the country’s ties with the EU, helping to position itself for EU membership.

Know Your RWIND - The Reasonably Well-Informed and Normally Diligent Tenderer

The all too often story of the incumbent supplier in a tender, losing the competition, and pursuing legal action through various courts, played out by Healthcare at Home and the Common Services Agency. At each stage, action has been unsuccessful, and has ended up in the UK’s Supreme Court. Its main objection was the tender were unclear and lacking in detail. Public procurement professionals would do well to note the result, and be up to speed on RWIND - the reasonably well-informed and normally diligent tenderer!

Public Sector Procurement Fraud - the Four Common Types 

This is the first article in a series which will look at the most common types of public sector procurement fraud. In this article we offer a "fraud classification" model, based broadly on when during the overall procurement process the fraud takes place. We give a simple and short description of each type of fraud for now, but we will return at greater length to each in future articles and look at them in more detail. It forms quite a list!

Apple, Amazon, Starbucks - have they received illegal "state aid"? 

Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks are all under investigation to see if they have received illegal state aid, at the same time, the new EU procurement directives allow bidders to be excluded from competition if they have broken local tax regulations. It is clear that the European Commission is looking more seriously now at how certain large firms have been able to pay so little tax in Europe. If the European economy weakens further, we suspect we can all expect to see more focus on this issue.

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