Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Local and regional governments as service providers

Public procurement - 27.01.2010

Public procurement rules: "Put the focus back on value for money"
Public procurement rules have become such a complex matter that public authorities increase their focus on legal certainty and limitation of legal threat - rather than procedures that maximize -value for money'.

CEMR's expert, Robert Hann, Director legal services of Local Partnerships (part of the Local Government Association, England), expressed serious concern at today's hearing at the European Parliament.

Furthermore, the economic and financial crisis and some decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have unexpected, unforeseen and unwelcome consequences for projects procured in different circumstances.

For example: ECJ case law on use of evaluation criteria and weightings suggests there is no ability to -flex' criteria due to changing market circumstances or to meet a contracting authority's requirements such as the credit crunch and funding crisis. 'Is it appropriate to cement criteria and weightings in stone, prior to the dialogue stage where under the competitive dialogue process, dialogue can last 18 months?" asked Robert Hann.

With reference to other observations (uncoordinated initiatives from different services of the European Commission, extensive use of public procurement as a policy instrument, etc), CEMR's expert advocated for a fundamental review of the public procurement directives and urged the EU institutions to take into account experience from grass roots practitioners.
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