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EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement 2nd Newsletter, July 2019

Foreword by Jan Scholten, managing director of the municipality of Haarlem.

At the end of May 2019, Haarlem hosted the 9th Urban Agenda meeting for European cities, networks and experts in the field of innovative procurement. As managing director of the municipality of Haarlem, I am extremely proud that we are coordinating this Urban Agenda Partnership and to know that hard work is being done to make cities perform better in terms of sustainability, stimulating the local economy and building on an inclusive society.

Any city, large or small, can make use of innovative procurement as a driver for change.

When the action plan is implemented at mid 2020, we will have the tools at our disposal to boost local sustainability goals. We will benefit from the knowledge and skills and good examples from other European cities. What a great example of cooperation at the heart of Europe: the cities and villages!

Haarlem's ambition in the field of sustainability fits well with the work of the Urban Agenda partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement; we aim to be a circular city, where entrepreneurs are challenged to participate in innovative solutions.

As a City, we, like our partner cities, benefit from the Urban Agenda network that has been built up.

I look forward to further cooperation!

Jan Scholten

Managing Director of the Municipality of Haarlem

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

Overview of partnership

You are invitied/ save the date!

The annual ‘European week of Regions and Cities’ (EWRC) this year takes place from 7 to 10 October 2019 in Brussels. The event is expected to gather some 6000 participants from more than 70 countries.

During the European Week of Cities and Regions we will present our Partnership and provide a workshop with other partners on Tuesday 8 October 2019 between 4:30 PM and 7:00 PM. Location: Brussels, Building SQUARE - Brussels Convention Center, Room Copper hall. Title of the workshop: Strategic Public Procurement as a driver of change and growth in cities and regions.

Description of the workshop: To be an effective driver of change and growth, public procurement needs to shift towards a more strategic approach. Doing so requires both to define strategies and goals and to ensure that they translate into practice. The session will discuss existing initiatives across Europe such as the Urban Agenda Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement or efforts carried out to foster the use of public procurement to promote a more circular economy. The session will also present concrete case studies to support and encourage discussions, from the “Pilot Action on Strategic Public Procurement” commissioned by DG REGIO. The objective is to demonstrate that, used strategically, public procurement can bring public services closer to citizens’ needs. It will identify practices on how to use strategic public procurements to get real benefits beyond the purchased products or services. Discussions will concentrate on experiences and tools to make your city or region greener, smarter and more inclusive.

We invite you to register on the EWRC website, and please invite your network as well. Our message on ‘innovative and responsible public procurement’ needs to be shared.

The action plan consists of the following 7 actions:

This action supports politicians and technicians in cities (especially mid-sized and small-sized ones) in building their Public Procurement strategy. This strategy allows the implementation of the global strategy of the city’s goals in facing social, economic and environmental challenges. OUTPUT: A guidance toolkit.
The goal of the action is to make knowledge on circular procurement easily available, so that cities can build and develop competence for relevant staff. OUTPUT: Workshops and trainings that support local and regional authorities to conduct circular procurement.
The action aims at improving knowledge and skills in innovative and sustainable public procurement by facilitating collaboration. These collaborations can help procurers in understanding and implementing innovative and/or sustainable public procurement and improving capabilities - knowledge and skills – at local level. OUTPUT: A flexible concept for setting up LOCAL COMPETENCE CENTRES for innovative and sustainable procurement, structured around building blocks that can be applied to the specific local situation.
The partnership investigates the specific need for innovation procurement brokerage between the demand and supply-side, the organizational model, the features of an innovation procurement broker and how it can practically support the interaction between public buyers and economic operators. OUTPUT: Guidelines for both the implementation and management of the “innovation procurement broker”, conceived at a regional, national and EU level, with the close involvement of EU cities.
Cities need financial support to develop projects to learn from more advanced cities in circular procurement and social responsibility in procurement, to procure innovation and projects where they look for expert support to develop ‘joint cross-border procurement’. OUTPUT: Recommendation(s) to the European Commission on future EU funding for joint cross-border, procurement of innovation, social responsibility in procurement and circular procurement.
The aim of developing a legal handbook on innovative public procurement is to provide a practical guideline regarding legal aspects for the procurement of innovation. OUTPUT: A guidance book with a collection of good practices.
The action aims at developing a common cross-Europe methodology for municipalities and other institutions to measure where their procurement spend goes. OUTPUT: A spend analysis tool and training on measuring spend to members of the partnership.

Study Visits

Larvik, Norway

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.

Turin, Italy

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.

Every year the European Commission organizes a so-called "Green Week", where everything that has to do with environmental policy is discussed. Together with the Member States, the EU organizes a wide range of events. This year the theme was: Applying environmental legislation.

The EU Green Week is an opportunity to show how your organization or city cooperates with EU policy and what developments there are.

With many visitors from all EU member states presenting their best examples, it is the place to network. Representation from our Partnership "Innovative and responsible public procurement " was therefore more than desirable and useful!

The necessary mutual knowledge has been gained during workshops / sessions on:

- Better waste reduction

- Reduction of urban mobility

- Circular economy

- Innovative renewable energy projects

- Fostering sustainable investments

It is precisely because of Public Procurement presence at such an event that it is possible to highlight the benefits of public innovative tenders. In this way others can benefit from our accumulated knowledge and we can share the experiences gained there with others.

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.

Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson and Tamar Reay

The tool will form part of a guidance note being produced as part of the Partnership on ‘how to Measure Spend and Wider Impact’. Participants have been asked to identify other examples of spend analysis and impact measurement tools in their Member States which they are aware of which can be included in the guidance note.

For more information about the Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement under the EU Urban Agenda, please send a e-mail to Mrs. Valentina Schippers-Opejko: vopejko@haarlem.nl

Credits:

Created with images by hpgruesen - "european parliament strasbourg flags" • GregMontani - "europe flag star" • rawpixel - "untitled image"

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