Commission and EBRD encourage innovative use of information in public procurement involving EU funds

The European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  (EBRD) as well as the Open Contracting Partnership are actually joining forces to improve the quality and transparency of public tenders co funded by EU funds in Greece and Poland. Thanks to their support, 2 pilot projects will provide expertise and hands on assistance to public authorities in each of those countries, with a focus on digital innovation.

By promoting the intelligent usage of open data and development, the two pilots can help public administrations to better plan, apply as well as monitor the procurement of is effective, services and goods. It will improve the usage of public resources and improve opportunities for businesses, especially for small and medium businesses (SMEs). Furthermore, because of a cooperation with neighborhood civil society organisations, this initiative will even favour transparency of public investing as well as stimulate citizens’ participation in the monitoring of investments with a direct influence on the town, for example investments in sustainability, social inclusion and local progress.

The 2 pilot projects

In Greece, the project is going to aim at consolidating and integrating all databases to a specific smart public contract register. This will allow online access for bidders and citizens, enhance quality of data and facilitate the use of data driven analytical resources for checking the procurement process.
In Poland, the first step will support Polish local and national authorities to add open data in public procurement and increase automated collection, standardisation, and consolidation of procurement details on almost all tenders.
The two pilots will run until the end of 2021 and their results will be disseminated in order to ensure a prosperous roll out in other Member States.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “In the programming period 2021 2027, Cohesion policy will will begin to help Member States as well as regions in their economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, along with boosting competitiveness through brand new investments in investigation and innovation, the implementation and digital transition of the European Greenish Deal agenda. Through the use of new technologies, national and local public authorities handling EU money will be able to spend public money more effectively ensuring the very best results for citizens and businesses”.

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “Transparency inside public procurement is essential to ensure efficiency of public investments, in series using the EU strategic policy targets aiming at a better, digital plus more resilient Europe. Public authorities are able to count on the EU’s public procurement framework, tools like the electric procurement systems as well as open info for an effective use of public funds.”

The EBRD Vice President, Pierre Heilbronn commented: “The EBRD is sold on support institutional and legal reforms aimed at seeing to it that procurement laws and strategies are actually contemporary, consistent with international expectations and also could swiftly respond to emerging challenges. Together with Open Contracting Partnership, we are sharing the experience of successful civil society procurement overseeing based on open details. Our joint efforts intend to produce a framework for enlisting civil society organisations to support public procurement reforms and work with open details to watch procurement.”

Background

In the context of the next long-term EU budget, more than €370 billion coming from Cohesion policy money will be invested to support the green and digital transitions on the Member States. Annually, public authorities within the EU spend around fourteen % of GDP on public procurement, amounting to more than €1.9 trillion. Almost one half of Cohesion policy funding is actually channelled through public procurement. The Commission has promoted a series of initiatives aimed at helping Member States to enhance the way administrations and beneficiaries work with public procurement for EU investments. These include things like the Integrity Pacts to make sure more efficient and transparent tenders and also safeguarding EU taxpayers’ cash. The Commission likewise had taken activity to facilitate citizen engagement for better governance as well as powerful Cohesion policy investments.