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European Commission - Press release
Single Market Act: EU public procurement framework has saved around 20 billions euros
Brussels, 24 June – Budgetary constraints mean that efficient public purchasing is moving up the policy agenda in all Member States. In order to ensure the efficient use of public money, reforms to existing rules should create more flexible and user-friendly tools to reduce costs and the duration of contracting procedures. That is why reform of public procurement legislation is one of the 12 priority actions articulated in the Single Market Act, which was adopted in April 2011
Today, the Commission published the results of a comprehensive evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of EU public procurement legislation. It also published a synthesis of the main views expressed by the over 620 respondents to the Green Paper on modernisation of EU public procurement legislation (IP/11/88).
The evaluation draws on a comprehensive body of evidence and new independent research. It finds that EU public procurement Directives have helped to establish a culture of transparency and outcome-driven procurement in the EU. This has triggered competition for public contracts, and generated savings and improvements in the quality of procurement outcomes. Open and competitive public procurement has driven down costs by around 4%, generating savings of approximately €20 billion. This far exceeds the costs generated by the regulatory framework, which are estimated to be €5 billion.
While responses to the consultation reveal diverging views on the priority that should be given to each of the different objectives of the reform there is strong support for simplification, improving market access, notably for SMEs and fostering innovation. There is also a certain consensus that streamlining the procedures and making them more flexible is particularly important and that all actors of the procurement world could greatly benefit from it.
The Commission will draw on the evidence collected in the evaluation, and the insights obtained from stakeholder consultation, to prepare its legislative proposals before the end of 2011. The priorities for legislative reform will be debated at a landmark public procurement conference in Brussels on June 30th.
Additionally, the evaluation reveals scope for efforts to strike a better balance between the costs of the regulatory system and the resulting benefits – particularly for lower value purchases. The average public procurement procedure takes 108 days and costs €28,000 - 3/4 of which is accounted for by the costs of preparing tenders (5.4 tenders received on average) and 1/4 for the contracting public authority. The worst performing Member States take 3 times longer to complete a purchase than the best-performing.
The feedback statement on the Green Paper consultation reveals that all different stakeholder groups (public authorities, business, civil society organisations, legal experts as well as individual citizens) have a strong interest in the upcoming reform.
The findings from the evaluation and the responses to the Green Paper provide a substantial body of evidence and opinion on the functioning of existing legislation, as well as identifying some scope for improvement. They will be invaluable in the preparation of the legislative proposal, which will be published by the Commission before the end of 2011.
The next step in this legislative reform process will be a Commission-hosted conference on June 30th. This will give leading policy-makers, procurement practitioners and civil society the opportunity to discuss the priorities for the legislative reform. The evaluation and responses to the Green Paper set the scene for these discussions. The proceedings can -be followed live on web-stream at:
Summary and full evaluation report as well as the supporting studies:
Green Paper responses summary: