27 August 2009 | Jake Kanter
The European Commission (EC) this week introduced new rules on defence equipment and services procurement.
Directive 2009/81/EC will harmonise the approach to purchasing defence and security products and services, as well as requiring EU members to open up their procurement procedures to suppliers from other member states.
The market for defence and security in the EU is estimated to be worth around ?90 billion (£79.1 billion) a year.
The laws will provide 'tailor-made' procedures, which include enabling purchasers to use the negotiated procedure as the standard method, allowing flexibility to 'fine tune' contract details.
The rules should be applied to defence and security service and supply contracts over ?412,000 (£362,684) and works contracts above ?5.15 million (£4.53 million). Member states will have two years to amend their own laws to comply with the directive.
Defence purchasing was previously regulated by standard EU procurement rules, but these have often caused confusion relating to how exemptions should be applied. The new directive still exempts contracts vital to national security or intelligence.
Charlie McCreevy, the EC's internal market and service commissioner, said: "This will make defence and security markets more open and more transparent to the benefit of all: taxpayers' money will be spent more efficiently, armed forces will get better value for money, and industry will get better access to new markets."
The rules can be accessed here: http://tiny.cc/ev4Wg