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 services - 17.01.2006

The "public procurement and accessibility" handbook is out!
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) in association with 13 public and private associations, has issued a manual on the implementation of best practices in accessibility in public procurement.
The manual is meant to help local, regional and national governments include accessibility criteria in public calls for tender in line with the new EU directives on public procurement.
The manual is published in the framework of Build for All, a pilot-project to mainstream disability policies and to promote accessibility to public buildings and infrastcuture. Build for all is financially supported by the European Commission.
The second phase of the project will consist in implementing the manual at national level. Four national seminars will be organised from April to September 2006. The final conference will follow and will assess how governments have managed to include accessibility criteria in public tenders.
In a letter, the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso expressed his support for the project: Public authorities spend each year around €1500 billion on purchasing goods and services. This gives to public purchasers considerable market power, which can trigger a decisive shift in attitudes towards accessibility for all requirements.
The handbook was presented at the Committee of the Regions on 16 January. The launch event was attended by some 80 local and regional representatives, users' organisations and economic operators.
The manual is currently subject to a public consultation. It can be downloaded from the Build for all website
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