Supporting factors and main benefits of Joint Procurement
The Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on public procurement (hereinafter „Directive “) sheds light on the importance of public procurement as a key role in the European Commission’s strategy entitled “Europe 2020, a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” (Eur-Lex, 2014). To ensure the efficiency of public spending and the support of a common goal, the public procurement laws are to be revised regularly.
What is Joint Procurement and what are the main benefits?
The Commission defines Joint Procurement (JP) as the combination of the procurement actions of two or more contracting authorities, with a single tender published on the behalf of all the participants. (European Commission, 2008) Joint Cross-Border Public Procurements allow contracting authorities to reduce administrative costs, as a clear effect of carrying out one single tender, as well as be able to negotiate better offers from the suppliers (economies of scale).
For example, the Eco-Procurement Service of Vorarlberg, in Austria (ÖBS) was set up in 2001 to provide a centralised procurement service for 80 local authorities in the region. Results have shown an up to 30% increase in financial savings and a reduction of 60% in administrative workload. (Bettina Schaefer, Helena Estevan, 2015)
The joint procurement actions also lead to a development of expertise and skills between the authorities. Procurement (and other) skills are scarce and not every contracting authority can develop high quality skills across the full range of its functions (Communities and Local Government, 2001). Compartmentalizing the workload between the authorities could benefit the purchase of new or improved goods or services, thus contributing to innovation.
Joint Procurement and Innovation
The purchase of new or improved products that can benefit the sectors of building and construction incorporates one of the meanings of innovation in procurement. The use of JP in securing “technologically-advanced and innovative products and services at better prices” is quintessential for enhancing the capacity of a smart city. (J.-B. Auby & Ferrari, 2019)
The Directive is also clear on promoting the use of JP to further innovation.
Article 47 states in part: “Buying innovative products, works and services plays a key role in improving the efficiency and quality of public services while addressing major societal challenges. It contributes to achieving best value for public money as well as wider economic, environmental and societal benefits in terms of generating new ideas, translating them into innovative products and services and thus promoting sustainable economic growth”. (Eur-Lex, 2014)
An example that illustrates one of the most advanced joint procurement experiences is Healthy Ageing Public Procurement of Innovation (“HAPPI”). The project focused on finding and purchasing innovative solutions to promote healthy ageing. (Gabriella M. Racca & Christopher R. Yukins, 2019)
(s.d.). Récupéré sur https://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/pdf/toolkit/module1_factsheet_joint_procurement.pdf
Bettina Schaefer, Helena Estevan. (2015, May). Best practices in regional SPP/PPI networks. Récupéré sur https://sppregions.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Resources/Vorarlberg.pdf
Commission, E. (2017, February). eur-lex. Récupéré sur https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32014L0024
Communities and Local Government. (2001, July 5). from Local Authority Procurement: A research report. Récupéré sur https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20120920023749/http://www.communities.gov.uk/archived/publications/localgovernment/localauthorityprocurement
Eur-Lex. (2014, March 28). DIRECTIVE 2014/24/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL. Récupéré sur Eur-Lex Web site: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32014L0024
Eur-Lex. (2014, March 28). Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 26 February 2014 – EUR-Lex. Récupéré sur https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014L0024
European Commission. (2008). European Commission Green Public Procurement- Module 1: Managing GPP Implementation. Récupéré sur https://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/pdf/toolkit/module1_factsheet_joint_procurement.pdf
Gabriella M. Racca & Christopher R. Yukins. (2019). Introduction: The Promise and Perils of Innovation in Cross-Border Procurement, in Joint Public Procurement and Innovation: Lessons Across Borders (G. M. Racca – C. R. Yukins, eds. Récupéré sur https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3486897
J.-B. Auby, L. F., & Ferrari, G. (2019). Joint Public Procurement and Innovation. Bruylant.