1. Barcelona is a wired city. Excellent Forbes article. Not strictly procurement but relevant for the field nonetheless as an indication of what extra technology and sensors can do to influence the running of a city. One of the examples provided in the article is about procurement though: the savings achieved by putting down fibreoptic when the innovation district @22 was being replumbed. Back in 2012 we had Ramon Sagarra talking about this on Procurement Week.
2. Speaking of Barcelona...TMB fails to put up performance bond for Porto's metro concession (Portuguese only). In Portugal if you win a contract, particularly public works or concessions you have to provide up front a performance bond to guarantee you will perform the contract. TMB did not cough up the €20M required for the Porto metro concession which it had won and the award has been annulled.
3. TTIP is being negotiated in the dark (as it should). There are plenty of people complaining that the TTIP is being negotiated in the dark and that peoples concerns (ie, lobbying) is not being taken into account. Said people probably do not negotiate their contracts in the open either but would prefer the EU to divulge its negotiation position to the world to see, including the americans. This podcast from Planet Money explains why trade deals not be done in secret. Yes, it's because of the lobbying.
As for the TTIP itself, as highlighted by Piotr Bogdanowciz on our PPP interview, it is more relevant than we think for procurement and we should be discussing it more.
4. Portuguese Government greenlights €400M worth of contracts for 2016-2019 (Portuguese only). Portugal will have general elections in less than two months and some media reported (complaining) that the outgoing Government has authorised expenditure up to the tune of €400M for the 2016-2019. Note, no contract has been awarded or signed, only the first step of authorising procedures to be carried out was done. It will take ages until they reach their conclusion, even if they are launched sooner rather than later. As for the people who cannot understand why an outgoing Government is doing this, just imagine the uproar if the services were disrupted otherwise.
5. Basque country wants to help local SMEs to win contracts...internationally (Spanish only). As I said many times before, contracting authorities can do a lot to help their supplier base as long as they comply with state aid principles (Article 107 TFEU) and do not use their procurement spend as a piggy bank to feed those suppliers. The Basque country will help supplier which are successful winning contracts abroad, which ensure that they are not mixing their support with procurement activities. However, the support is only available for economic operators who win tenders. If that is the case, why do they need public sector support? It makes more sense to help struggling SMEs to become successful (within reason and only sometimes), not to throw money to the ones which do not need the support. Weird.