The European Commission has released a communication to the EU Institutions aimed at carrying out public procurement more efficiently and sustainably at a meeting in Strasbourg on 3 October. The Commission is encouraging member states to focus on six priority areas of improvement. It also announced a helpdesk and support mechanism for procurers working on large infrastructure projects, and a targeted consultation on stimulating innovation procurement.
The six priority areas identified for member states are: greater uptake of innovative, green and social criteria in awarding public contracts; professionalisation of public buyers; improving access by SMEs to procurement markets in the EU and by EU companies in third countries; increasing transparency, integrity and quality of procurement data; digitisation of procurement processes; and more cooperation among public buyers across the EU.
Public procurement represents 14% of the EU's GDP, approximately €2 trillion. The Commission recommends that steps should be taken to improve the skills, knowledge and procedural understanding of public procurers, in addition to making better use of digital technology to professionalise the procurement process.
For more information, visit the European Commission website.