Commission publishes ESPD review

The Commission has just put out its European Single Procurement Document review covering what has been done so far to get it to work and what is the current status of its implementation. The report makes for grim reading with most Member States still fumbling their way around with the majority using the paper version (!) at the end of 2016.

The Commission suggested that the current electronic ESPD service provided by itself is a transitional measure (I assumed as much in my paper about the ESPD) but the fact that 16 Member States are still using it instead of implementing national versions is worrying, since it now anticipated the electronic ESPD system will be shut down after April 18th 2019. On a more positive note, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Romania have made the use of the ESPD also mandatory for contract below-thresholds, with Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain accepting their use without it being mandatory.

As expected, most countries are woefully behind when it comes to integrate databases where data that feeds into the ESPD may be accessed and until that happens, the real benefits of the system will not be felt. Nonetheless, the Commission claims Denmark and Croatia have been able to quantify the benefits (I would love to see the research and data) while no "Member State has tried yet to quantify the benefits deriving from a reduced administrative burden for buyers." Again, that will take a while and a painful adaption period.

While criticism by some Member States, suppliers and buyers is briefly mentioned, the report is silent on any particular difficulties in implementation or improvements necessary. As for the drawbacks, yesterday's post gives a flavour that is missing from the Commission's report.