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Review of EU Procurement Laws

Comment 1st July 2010

As a procurement professional working for a large local authority I am increasingly frustrated with the EU Procurement Legislation that is inhibiting our ability to deliver savings, benefits and efficiencies to citizens. Whilst I agree fully with the need to operate clear, fair and transparent procurement processes, elements of this legislation are simply ludicrous. For example;

1) being unable to negotiate on terms and price with preferred suppliers to leverage additional benefit from the process.

2) the ever growing rules and sanctions that make it increasingly difficult and ever more time consuming to conclude tender processes – a typical tender process now takes 9 months plus.

3) the ever growing rights of unsuccessful suppliers to challenge award decisions at various stages in the process.

In my personal view this ever growing legislation is stifling creative procurement for fear of breaching the rules, inhibiting suppliers from offering innovative solutions if this is not included as part of the tender and preventing local authorities and public sector procurement departments from leveraging real benefit from the market economy that can be passed directly onto citizens by way of cost savings.

Whilst this is an EU issue no doubt requiring a lengthy period of time to progress I feel this is a long term opportunity for public sector procurement. 

 

 

Why does this matter?

The economy will not be fixed overnight and the squeeze on public sector spending will continue long beyond the coalition's term in office. This will drive an even greater need to ensure we obtain best value for money from the public purse. We should use the current economic climate to sieze this opportunity and lobby Europe to review this laws and make procurement processes more pragmatic.

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