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

It’s that time of the week again when we give you a roundup of the articles published on Public Spend Matters Europe. Our site, launched on September 1st, 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.

PP Files reveal 60 percent of Romanian public procurements hit by complaints

Journalism project, also known as “The PP files,” has highlighted irregularities in Romanian public sector procurement, and gives suggestions on how to improve procedures. The National Council for Solving Complaints (CNSC) revealed that they made decisions on 60 percent of cases. The National Authority for Regulating and Monitoring Public Procurement (ANRMAP) gave information about irregularities in contract-awarding procedures, like dividing a contract into several smaller contracts to avoid going through procurement procedures. What are these loopholes?

Serco - becoming a Government-only supplier?

Serco, the major outsourced service provider to the public sector in Europe and more widely, is particularly strong in the UK but its highest profile contract is probably the management of Australia's immigration control centres. But the firm has had a traumatic year, which seems to be getting worse.  It announced its fourth profit warning of 2014, wrote off assets, and said it would need to raise hundreds of millions to survive. How will Serco’s future lie in the hands of public sector buyers?

Mutuals and the new EU Procurement Directives

Mutuals are employee-owned organisations that re-invest their profits and are therefore seen as being more dynamic and efficient than purely state owned organisations, yet not as ruthless and profit-obsessed as a usual capitalist wealth-maximising business. One of the arguments during the development of the 2013 new EU procurement directives was around the protection that can be offered to new mutuals formed by groups of people from within the public (state) sector. As “part owners” of a mutual, will that create fewer government workers? a lower state pension liability? and a harder working organisation?

Early engagement with suppliers - doing it properly (part 2) 

However early engagement is carried out, it must not give an advantage to the organisations that participate in that engagement. So how can contracting authorities take advantage of early engagement without putting themselves at risk of challenge from unhappy bidders or potential bidders later? There are two main types of engagement - and we discuss them here - giving you advice on mitigating the risk of later challenges based on an unfair procurement process.

TTIP: EU seeks widespread access in US procurement markets

As part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership the EU has made the opening of US procurement programmes at all levels of government a priority goal. It will insist on commitments for procurement in all goods and in all sectors. However, there are questions being raised in the US as to whether opening local procurement markets to foreign bidders will really benefit them.


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