Urban Agenda for the EU Innovative and responsible Public procurement
Urban Agenda for the EU
The ‘Pact of Amsterdam’ of May 2016 established the Urban Agenda for the EU: a working method of thematic Partnerships seeking to optimize the utilization of the growth potential of cities and to address social challenges. The Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement is one of the 14 Partnerships and was formally established in May 2017.
Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement
The Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement creates the opportunity for cities and Member States to work closely together with European institutions to research and assess how to facilitate more use of innovative and responsible public procurement and thus support innovation and sustainability (social, economic and environmental).
Background for the Partnership
Social, economic and ecological issues manifest themselves within urban areas, and should also be addressed by the cities themselves. The EU is indispensable in the sense that EU-wide policy supports cities in their efforts to create the best possible environment for citizens.
Action plan of the Partnership
European cities, one member state, several (international) organizations and stakeholders and representatives of the European Commission have together produced an action plan with seven specific actions. The implementation of the action plan is in progress. The end results will be presented mid-2020 to the European Commission and the Member States and disseminated throughout Europe.
On photo: City centre Binnen Spaarne, City of Haarlem
The study visit to Larvik was part of the action ''Knowledge exchange''. The purpose of the visit was to meet a Local Competence Centre (LCC) in Norway and to get a better understanding of how this LCC works. In Norway, most municipalities are connected to an LCC. The 9 municipalities in Vestfold County, the University of Southeast Norway and Vestfold County Municipality are all members of the same LCC – Vestfold Offentlige InnkjøpsSamarbeid (www.vois.no) – Vestfold public procurement cooperation.
VOIS was already established in 1996. Today VOIS, has 3 full time employees and is organised as a separate unit within Sandefjord municipality. VOIS has of today 56 contracts on behalf of the 9 municipalities. The turnover of these contracts in total for the 9 municipalities is approximately 60 million EUR. A knowledge/expert team is established for each contract area where each municipality designates its participants. VOIS also does contract management on all contracts, an important function. Further VOIS facilitates free training courses. VOIS has identified 8.5 million EUR as an estimated effect of large contracts, estimated savings because of joint processes, discounts, estimated savings because of free courses.
Other topics that were discussed included: the critical success factors, cultural differences and the importance of mutual trust. It was a very productive meeting with great input to the action “Knowledge exchange/Local Competence centre’’.
Example form Larvik
The EU Urban Agenda has had an in impact on Larvik municipality to start with Strategic Procurement. Larvik has developed a procurement policy of value-creating, innovative and sustainable procurement to promote environmentally and socially responsible purchasing. Sharing of experience with and knowledge from other European cities in the Urban Agenda project has been important for Larvik in paving out these new strategies. Recently Larvik launched a strategy for creating jobs for people with challenges in the labour market due to disabilities and/or other disadvantages. The collaboration between the cities in the Urban Agenda has been important.
Recently, the action team ‘’Knowledge Exchange’’ was in the Metropole Turin for a two-day study visit. This visit was also dominated by Local Competence Centers (LCC), one of the seven actions of our partnership. In an LCC, governments work together on public procurement.
In Turin, people work within various partnerships. For example, people have been working for some time in a local network of cities where green public procurement is successfully carried out. In Italy there are legally prescribed environmental criteria, but the ambitions of Turin and the region go further. Not only by working together and making use of each other's expertise, but also because of extra agreements with each other, which go beyond national mandatory environmental legislation. These extra agreements are not static, but are constantly evolving due to the developments in society. In order to not lose sight of the effects, the tenders are monitored.
In this context, an European project was shown (http://www.sppregions.eu/tenders/tender-models/), in which Turin collaborated with other European cities to promote the 'best practices' from those cities, in different categories. Handy, because the tender documents are there too! A good example for others who are working on these topics and want to learn.
Once again, it became clear in Turin that procurement can contribute to the achievement of strategic policy goals. An LCC is a good tool to bundle knowledge and skills and thus become a key success factor in public procurement at a local level in order to achieve those desired innovative and responsible goals.
Some other examples from the Metropole Turin:
In the Piedmont Region, a successful example was shown about joint purchasing to promote efficient energy use in buildings and public lighting, by concluding energy performance contracts (EPC). The role of the region was (and is) crucial here; because this stimulates public and private investments in energy efficiency. The knowledge gained is used by the region to assist smaller governments with their EPC.
Turin works with a climate adaptation plan and actively seeks cooperation with other cities and the business community in order to achieve the goals set out in the plan. An example of this is the European project "Derris" (http://www.derris.eu/en/). This project is about raising awareness of climate change and its impact on public procurement. The government and the business community must work closely together to promote the desired innovation and to achieve results.
With the "Torino City Lab" platform (www.torinocitylab.com), Turin encourages innovation and the monitoring of that innovation. This platform offers companies the opportunity to test their innovative solutions in real life. They are actively supported in this by an enthusiastic team from the city.
The University of Turin, Piedmont region and other partners participate in the innovative and responsible procurement of EU projects in the field of "Smart Health, Smart Energy and Smart ICT" (https://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/PPI2Innovate.html) and to ''Smart Circular Procurement''(https://www.interregeurope.eu/circpro/). Both were introduced with the aim of developing and testing innovative purchasing and also offer room for working with an LCC. The key to success in this regard is the pooling of knowledge.
Report of the two-day expert meeting in Haarlem on the 20st and 21nd of May, 2019.
On May 20 and 21, 2019, all partners were again present in Haarlem for the two-day brainstorm session. The developments / progress around the 7 actions were shared with each other and knowledge exchange took place on themes related to innovation and sustainability.
Effect measurement training was also on the agenda.
On Photo: European members of our partnership during their visit in the city of Haarlem
Measuring spend training
Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson (representing URBACT) and Tamar Reay (representing Preston City Council) facilitated a training session on how Municipalities and Organisations can measure their procurement spend and wider impact. The session focused upon:
- Why measuring spend is important; different tools and methods for measuring spend and wider impact;
- The required data needed to be collected to undertake spend analysis and the demonstration a particular methodology utilised by Preston City Council;
- And how the results of Spend Analysis can be interpreted to inform policy and practice.
Participants were also given the opportunity to use the Spend Analysis tool and talk about the barriers they may face in implementing it in their Municipalities and Organisations.
Created with images by hpgruesen - "european parliament strasbourg flags" • GregMontani - "europe flag star" • rawpixel - "untitled image"