Publicly owned companies, public authorities and suppliers of the EU Member States are obliged to apply the European public procurement regulation when purchasing goods, services and public works above the defined European thresholds. Even when announcing below the thresholds, they need to follow the EC Treaty principles of transparency and non-discrimination. All actors involved are forced to ensure transparent procedures and fair conditions of competitions for suppliers.
Public companies and authorities as well as their suppliers face a rather complex system of public procurement procedures. Officials responsible for public procurement need to get familiar with the recent legal changes in the field of public procurement as well as the best pre and post award phase strategies to ensure their public institution gets the goods or services they need.
In current times of tight budgetary discipline, it is more important than ever for public bodies involved in EU funds administration to manage funds cost effectively, efficiently and in accordance with the law.
Advanced hands-on experience, operative know-how and thorough knowledge of procedures and risks are necessary to ensure clear, effective and reliable procurement procedures. While the new EU procurement directives require more flexibility, transparency and fulfilment of high qualitative, environmental, social and innovation standards, many contracting authorities still favour lowest price criterion as the safest and fastest procedure. Yet, many examples prove that the lowest price does not always mean lowest costs and therefore needs to be extended by additional criteria.
The competitive dialogue and the competitive procedure with negotiation as compared to the open or restricted procedures can be advantageous tools to purchase complex contracts: they make it possible for public buyers to refine requirements, develop a detailed evaluation matrix and purchase works, services, and goods (e.g. research products) tailored to their needs and budgetary constraints.