The war for the flexible procurement procedure of choice has been won

A few weeks ago I published this table with the usage of competitive dialogue, competitive procedure with negotiation and innovation partnership from the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2021:

The obvious take away message from the table is that that the war for the flexible procurement procedure of choice has been won by the competitive procedure with negotiation.

The table itself is from a paper I was writing about competitive dialogue and that is available here. As both competitive dialogue and competitive procedure with negotiation share the exact same grounds for use, in the paper itself I posited a few explanations on why the competitive procedure with negotiation has 20x the usage of competitive dialogue. First, it is a lot more similar to the traditional open/restricted procedures since it requires detailed specifications from the beginning as well as tenders to be submitted before negotiations begin, effectively providing for a lot more of the structure contracting authorities are used to have. Second, the competitive procedure with negotiation allows for…negotiations to occur without the need to try and bend the rules or have them without any sort of competition as it happens with competitive dialogue. Third, there are simply more situations where the contracting authority knows what it wants in advance and simply does not need the additional flexibility afforded by the competitive dialogue.

In short, the table above shows how contracting authorities have been voting with their decisions in terms of which of the procedures they prefer. What we do not know exactly is why this has happened and since all that extra usage is siphoned off from other procedures (presumably open and restricted) why contracting authorities felt the need to go for a flexible procedure. We also do not know in which sectors/types of contracts these are being used for, the real or perceived benefits as well as the drawbacks for using the competitive procedure negotiation. In short, plenty of research to be done.