Is public procurement becoming less competitive in the EU?

Excellent article on The Economist:

Governments use competitive bidding in procurement both to obtain the best service for the lowest price, and to prevent cronyism and graft. The fewer the bids, the higher the risk of bid-rigging, says Mihaly Fazekas, a corruption expert at Cambridge University. Single-bid contracts are the worst, but even a drop from eight bidders to four increases the risk of collusion. Experts see the drop in the number of bidders per tender as a worrying sign.

Great plug for Mihaly Fazekas and Spend Network on the article.

Shame the piece only focus on contracts above thresholds, which as mentioned in some of the graphs only represent about 26% of all EU procurement spend. Whatever is happening beneath the surface is surely not better.