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17 January 2014

New EU procurement directives approved, place greater focus on innovation

On Wednesday 15 January the European Parliament (EP) approved the new EU Public Procurement Directives. The new legislation will replace the current directives and will be binding in all EU Member States once they have been transposed into national law. States have up to two years time for the transposition. Innovation is explicitly encouraged through the new procurement rules, exhibited through the inclusion of ‘innovation partnerships’.

This new procedure acts as a mechanism to encourage dialogue with bidders and foster innovation procurement. The overall goal of the directives is to ensure public authorities purchase best value for money (rather than simply lowest cost) and facilitate bids from SMEs. Another salient aspect of the new directives is the addition of the ‘most economically advantageous tender’ (MEAT) as the standard award criterion.

"Public procurement will no longer be a question of simply accepting the lowest price. Smart customers will work with smart suppliers to provide better solutions, better tailored to meeting customer needs in more innovative ways," said British MEP and Rapporteur Malcolm Harbour, Chairman of the EP’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. The introduction of the MEAT criterion should serve to further support the use of environmental and social criteria in public tenders.

Further analysis and discussion of the new procurement directives will take place on the Procurement Forum.

For more information, click here.