05 January 2007 | Antony Barton
EU involvement in public sector outsourcing will place "intolerable burdens" on councils and businesses, according to the UK's Local Government Association (LGA).
The LGA's European and International Unit, which represents over 400 local authorities, has called for less interference from the EU in the procurement process and wants safeguards to ensure bureaucracy does not hinder the way councils work with the private sector.
The unit particularly criticised the 10-day "standstill period" that gives unsuccessful bidders the opportunity to challenge awarded contracts. This legislation was introduced in the UK last year and a spokesman for the unit told Supplymanagement.com that it expected similar legislation to be introduced across Europe shortly.
Its chairwoman, Ruth Coleman, said local government supported the increase in transparency and procurement competition but warned that a "whole raft of ever-encroaching rules" was "threatening to drive a wedge between the public and private sectors and create a mountain of red tape".
She added that safeguards must be built into legislation to ensure the procurement process was timely and taxpayers were not billed for delays to public works.