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The European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  (EBRD) and also the Open Contracting Partnership are joining forces to boost the quality and transparency of public tenders co-funded by EU funds in Poland and Greece. Thanks to the support of theirs, 2 pilot projects are going to provide expertise as well as hands-on support to public authorities in both countries, with a concentration on digital innovation.

By marketing the intelligent usage of invention and open data, the two pilots will help public administrations to better plan, apply and keep track of the procurement of works, services and goods. This will improve the use of public energy and increase opportunities for companies, particularly for tiny and medium companies (SMEs). Moreover, thanks to a cooperation with local civil society organisations, this initiative will even favour transparency of public spending as well as stimulate citizens’ participation within the monitoring of investments with an immediate impact on the town, such as investments in sustainability, local growth and social inclusion.

The two pilot projects

In Greece, the task will aim at consolidating and integrating all databases to a single smart public contract register. This will allow internet access for bidders and citizens, improve quality of data and facilitate the use of data-driven analytical tools for checking the procurement process.
In Poland, the first step will help support Polish local and national authorities to add open data in public procurement and promote automated collection, standardisation, and consolidation of procurement information on all the tenders.
The 2 pilots will run until the conclusion of 2021 and their outcomes will be disseminated with the purpose to guarantee a booming roll out in other Member States.

Commissioner for Reforms and Cohesion, Elisa Ferreira, said: “In the programming phase 2021-2027, Cohesion policy will go on to support Member States and regions in their economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, as well as boosting competitiveness through brand new investments in study and innovation, the implementation and digital transition of the European Dark green Deal agenda. Through the use of new technologies, national and local public authorities managing EU funds will be able to spend public money more efficiently ensuring the best possible outcomes for citizens and businesses”.

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “Transparency in public procurement is actually crucial to ensure effectiveness of public investments, inside line with the EU strategic policy targets aiming at a healthier, digital plus more resilient Europe. Public authorities can rely on the EU’s public procurement framework, resources like the electronic procurement systems as well as open data for an effective use of public funds.”

The EBRD Vice-President, Pierre Heilbronn commented: “The EBRD is dedicated to support legal and institutional reforms aimed at seeing to it that procurement laws and practices are actually modern, consistent with international expectations and could swiftly react to emerging challenges. Together with Open Contracting Partnership, we are sharing the experience of productive civil society procurement overseeing based on open details. The joint efforts of ours intend to create a framework for enlisting civil society organisations to support public procurement reforms and make use of open data to observe procurement.”

Background

In the context of the following long-term EU budget, much more when compared with €370 billion out of Cohesion policy money will be invested to support the green and digital transitions of the Member States. Yearly, public authorities inside the EU invest around fourteen % of GDP on public procurement, amounting to more than €1.9 trillion. Nearly half of Cohesion policy funding is channelled through public procurement. The Commission has promoted a series of initiatives targeted at helping Member States to improve the way administrations & beneficiaries use public procurement for EU investments. These include the Integrity Pacts to make sure transparent and efficient more tenders and also safeguarding EU taxpayers’ cash. The Commission additionally had taken action to facilitate citizen engagement for much better governance and powerful Cohesion policy investments.

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