27 January 2011 | Paul Snell
Click here to read what senior procurement lawyers think of the changes
European Commission (EC) has pledged to reduce the red tape that surrounds
public procurement rules.
at the launch of a green paper andconsultation
on the modernisation of the regulations this morning, Michel Barnier,
commissioner for internal market and services, said current purchasing regulations
need to be simplified and adapted to meet the changing needs of buyers.
need to clarify public procurement rules to make life easier for both public
authorities and companies bidding for contracts in Europe,” he said. “Access of
smaller companies to procurement markets, reducing red tape, or promoting
European cross-border procurement will be under the spotlight during the
consultation. My ambition is also to make sure that public procurement can help
job creation, innovation, and protection of the environment."
emphasised the green paper is intended as an open debate, and the EC says it is
undertaken “without any preconceived approach”. But should the suggestions included
feed into legislation – due in 2012 – they could radically change the way
public buyers perform their jobs.
to the rules could allow for greater negotiation with suppliers during the
procurement process, an end to the division between the selection and award
criteria stages of a tender and less strict rules on advertising contract
opportunities for buyers working at smaller contracting authorities.
buyers may also face the prospect of compulsory publication of information
documenting the tender process to increase transparency or mandatory
requirements on what they actually have to buy to achieve policy objectives,
such as increasing innovation or improving the environment.
are also recommendations to provide better access to contracts for SMEs, reduce
corruption and favouritism, and even to introduce the automatic translation of
OJEU notices into other languages to boost opportunities for vendors across the
to the consultation, along with an evaluation of the efficiency and
cost-effectiveness of the current regulations currently undertaken by the EC,
which will be published this summer, will form part of legislation in 2012.
wishing to contribute to the consultation have until 18 April to email MARKT-CONSULT-PP-REFORM@ec.europa.eu
with their response.