(24 July 2018) In a recent opinion, the Committee of the Regions supports the view that effective governance of public procurement is an integral part of the quality of public administration across the European Union.
Adopted on 5 July, the Committee's opinion is on the Public Procurement Package that was published in October 2017 and includes:
- Communication on Making Public Procurement work in and for Europe;
- Communication on Helping investment through a voluntary ex-ante assessment of the procurement aspects for large infrastructure projects; and
- Commission Recommendation on the professionalisation of public procurement.
In its opinion, the Committee emphasises that a strategy to improve the professionalisation of public procurement should take place within an overall political strategy and policies to promote social and green procurement and more broadly to ensure public money is well spent (para 30). However, it argues that sustainable procurement (or ‘strategic procurement’ as it is called) may add complexity to the procurement process (para 3) and it does not call for targets or other incentives to encourage public authorities to develop sustainable procurement strategies. Rather the opinion sees the consideration of social, environmental and innovative criteria as an option to be left to the discretion of each public authority (para 6), as should be the right to organise and provide services directly (para 8).
The rapporteur was Adrian Ovidiu Teban of the European People's Party and Mayor of Cugir in Romania