Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Lessons from cities trying to be better buyers.

2. Some data from the European Construction Sector Observatory.

3.  Clean contracting: safeguarding EU funds in Europe.

4.  Public procurement — the next frontier for tax justice campaigning? I hope not. The economic operators' tax situation is covered (and well covered) on Article 57 of Directive 2014/24/EU and it is connected with the intrinsic situation of the economic operator - not the contract at hand. If contracting authorities (and Member States) do not use the possibilities provided by Article 57 is another matter. Let's not forget that Art 57 allows for the exclusion to happen at any time during the procedure. That does not justify however increasing the complexity of the process by shoehorning tax issues to award criteria.

5.  Brexit' decision raises questions over adoption of Europe's electronic procurement document. It shouldn't as the UK is a fully fledged Member of the EU until the exit actually happens (if it it happens at atll). However, the mere fact we are entertaining this option illustrates one of my fears with the current Brexit limbo - the more time passes, the more likely it is EU law will be disregarded as the threat of enforcement recedes. This is just one of the first examples.


New episode of the Public Procurement Podcast is up

I have just uploaded episode #24 of the Public Procurement Podcast. The interviewee this time is Warren Smith, Director of Warren Smith, Director, Digital Marketplace part of the Government Digital Service.

We talked at length about the changes in digital procurement the UK Government is curently undertaking, some that already happened and others which will be happening in the future like the adoption of the Open Contracting Data Standard.

You can subscribe to the PPP directly on iTunes.

New year, new EU thresholds

I forgot to cover this a few weeks ago, but we have new thresholds in place since January 1st:

Works: €5,225,000 (was €5,186,000)

Central services and supplies: €135,000 (was €134,000)

Sub-central services and supplies: €209,000 (was €207,000)

Utilities and defence: €418,00 (was €414,000)

Why do thresholds change every two years? Because that is the commitment the EU made in the context of the revised Government Procurement Agreement, where for third country access to the EU procurement market the thresholds are expressed in Special Drawing Rights.

As for why they exist and their current level, there is still no explanation other than these reflect the commitments the EU made for the GPA. I have a paper on this topic coming out in the very near future, but here's an older one about thresholds

In the UK they have fallen slightly from previous levels but only due to the changes in the the GBP-EU exchange rate.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. 18F (USA) tries micro-purchases again. This time with their own tool, instead of using GitHub.

2. Visualising €1.3 trillion worth of EU public procurement contracts. Wow. Great to see connections where they are not obvious.

3. The Death Star bankrupted the far, far away galaxy. Not really public procurement, but the implications of the failure of a massive project on a supply chain. 

4. Scotland has a new public procurement law. I am yet to spend some quality time looking into it the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, but want to do so in the near future to compare it with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Policy note here. No, I will not be commenting on them one by one...

5. Too much outsourcing in the UK? Speculative.