Spain’s current public procurement law imposes strong transparency requirements for most contracts below the financial thresholds, restricting the use of non-transparent procedures to contracts value at below €15,000 (services) or €40,000 (works) only. My take is that overall this is a positive step and one that I regret Portugal not following.
That does not mean the move is painless or without difficulties. To clarify the requirements and operational implications of the move, Spain’s Procurement Regulator Body (something Portugal should have copied too…) published its first ever binding guidance specifically on Art 118 of the Spanish Public Contracts Law.
The guidance makes a very restrictive interpretation of the grounds enabling the use of the non-transparent procedure, from the requirements (deemed as cumulative) to the potential loopholes of contract splitting or recurrent yearly contracts with the exact same object. Julio Gonzales has a few extra comments (in Spanish) on the Global Politics and Law blog.
1. The fiscal costs of PPPs are higher than anticipated. Told you so...
2. Aragon Regional Government trials blockchain in public procurement (Spanish only). A small step for man... Sweden gets it feet wet with the land registry as well.
3. UK Government spending more with AWS. Unsurprising, expect to see more concentration in the cloud space as time goes on and requirements rise too.
4. MPs slam Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) procurement. But somehow, we need more flexibility and negotiations to make procurement work...
5. Manchester’s ‘social value’ procurement boosts local economy. I would love to see the assessment of the "20% social value weighting" and how it complies with the requirements of award criteria being linked to the subject-matter of the contract.
1. Colombia could use some more competition in public procurement (Spanish only). Funny how Colombia understands that having one or only two bidders on each tender is a competition risk, whereas Portugal doesn't.
3. How good are the opportunities published on the Digital Marketplace? A great "hot or not" take on contract postings.
2. Can technology solve the problem of extra costs in procurement? (Spanish only) I suspect that is not going to happen (at least fully) unless technology solves the problem of incomplete contracts...for all contracts.
PS: Apologies for the long radio silence but life caught up with me over the last month or so.
3. Spain will end non-transparent award procedures (Spanish only). Apparently, their new procurement law is almost ready.
1. Labour's electoral manifesto commits to keep the UK in the Government Procurement Agreement. Well, to accede to the GPA in my view.
2. Plaid Cymru's manifesto calls for more local procurement. Well, if the GPA is part of the discussion, then there is no real significant extra scope for industrial policy.
3. Valencia Regional Government wants to debar undertakings that do not pay their taxes (Spanish only). Well, tell the Central Government to transpose Directive 2014/24/EU then...
4. Entry into force of the new rules on public procurement in Belgium. Fashionably late.
2. UK Government will impose 'Cyber Essentials' certificate to all its contractors handling sensitive data. "...Or equivalent" I would say until 2019.
4. Bidders will ‘say everything’ to win foreign aid contracts. Only foreign aid contracts? Really? And note what smaller suppliers have to say about framework agreements...
1. Spanish region of Castilla-Leon used social clauses in 76% of its contracts in 2016 (Spanish only). No indication of what exact type of clauses were used, their cost or how they were monitored but in addition to social clauses proper the region has reserved contracts.
5. Concern as private firms line up to give free advice to the Tory Brexit Department. This is a textbook example of why I am so vociferously against making pre-market engagement legal and mainstream.
3. Putting innovation at the heart of public procurement. A recipe for complexity.
4. Corruption charges in Portugal grow significantly between 2014 and 2016 (Portuguese only). Finger was clearly pointed at the practice of awarding contracts without or with limited competition.
1. Helsinki does pre-market engagement well (so it seems). This warrants a proper post about it.
2. Who gets the money from public works in Spain (Spanish only). Fantastic piece of work on the economic operators winning public works contracts in Spain and some really horror stories in there.
5. Blockchain may be useful to cut down public expenditure. Very close to my views and a research idea Which incidentally, I may be about to find out over the next few months.
2. 18F is under flak for costing money (as if turning a profit was a usual yardstick to measure public sector services).
2. Brexit Implications for UK Public Procurement one day workshop at the Leicester Business Festival. Not free, but organised by my good friend Richard Craven.