Unintended consequences of using procurement as a compliance tool

About 10 days ago I gave a presentation at the CEVIA conference in Copenhagen (slides here)on how public procurement in the EU was slowly but surely being transformed into a compliance tool or enforcement system for policy objectives.

As it happens I have also just published a paper on the ESPD* and how it internalises in the contracting authority the compliance cost which until now had been pushed out to the market via the requirement of presenting documentary evidence. Collecting all those documents and information, turns out, is not free as perhaps contracting authorities would have thought.

Today, Hansel - the Finnish Central Purchasing Body - published a blogpost aptly entitled Sometimes I feel like I am Sherlock, which included the following section:

The rest of the entry is self-recommended but touches rightly on the nerve of the unintended consequences arising from making procurement a bona fides enforcement proxy and lack of consideration for transaction costs. We, the procurement police.

*Will give out SSRN link as soon as paper is up on there.