EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement 3rd Newsletter, December 2019

Foreword by Jaroslav Kračún, Legal Officer EU.

For the European Commission, the Urban Agenda is an ideal project where priority policies are being tested and implemented. It is a real time laboratory forging policy orientations into practical application. The Urban Agenda is therefore an important partner whose achievements will inspire thousands of other cities across Europe.

More specifically, with the modernised directives of 2014 and communication on policy orientations of 2017, the European Commission strongly believes that public procurement has a much wider role than ensuring transparency, equal treatment and access of all market players to public projects.

When “well designed”, public procurement can radically change the quality of public service, bring additional value in terms of environmental, social, innovative or other qualitative considerations.

When “well designed”, it can also help innovative companies to obtain first contracts and later grow with similar contracts for neighbouring or similar contracting authorities.

When “well designed”, public procurement helps to bring all kinds of innovation to the benefit of citizen in order to modernise, optimise and improve various aspects of public services.

The role of the Urban Agenda is therefore to find ways how to “well design” public procurement procedures. This way the potential of the public procurement legislation should attract innovative suppliers competing on the most suitable technical references in order to provide the best value for money.

The Urban Agenda unites knowledgeable and passionate partners who strongly believe in the necessity to change the perception of public procurement from a legalistic instrument into a wider policy tool. Their conviction constantly attracts new partners, which proves the viability of the project. The hope is that through snowballing, it reaches an important number of municipalities which will adopt the Urban Agenda outcomes into their regular business and make public procurement of innovation with circular economy aspects one of their daily priorities.

I wish them all the best in achieving these goals,

Jaroslav Kračún, Legal Officer responsible for public procurement of innovation, DG GROW, G4 – Innovative and e-procurement unit, European Commission

Urban Agenda for the EU Innovative and responsible Public procurement

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). The Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement is one of the 14 Partnerships, and was formally established in May 2017.

Background of 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 people.

Action plan of the Partnership

Seven 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 disseminated throughout Europe.

On photo: Koudenhoorn, city of Haarlem

Overview of our Partnership

New formal partners

The success for our Partnership is also reflected in the growing interest at home and abroad. For example, we are very happy to have new formal partners and look forward to a good collaboration and exchange of knowledge. Welcome to the City of Lublin (PL), City of Prague (CZ), Czech Republic and City of The Hague (NL).

European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC)

At the beginning of October 2019, our Partnership was represented at the EWRC. This is an annual event with more than 6,000 visitors, in which local authorities are central and European policy for regional and local development is discussed. Among other things, the best practices of economic development, social inclusion, cross-border cooperation, regional innovation and local development are examined. Our Partnership gave several presentations.

Valentina Schippers-Opejko, Rudie de Vries and Sanne van Kamp, for example, presented the EU Urban Agenda Partnership ‘Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement’ with great interest. Via an electronic discussion platform they have already picked up the outcomes and directions of our partnership of importance for procurement practicioners. This concerns both push and pull factors. Not only the 'dot' on the horizon with sustainable, circular and social purchasing must be given attention, but also what is stopping many people: risk-avoiding behaviour. Providing appealing examples and "best practices" can persuade people to use the government procurement tool to achieve overall policy objectives.

Column ‘partner to speak’; 5 questions to Pavel Broum, representative of the Member State Czech Republic

Czech Republic is involved in the EU Urban Agenda Partnership for Responsible and Innovative Public Procurement. Can you indicate what this involvement entails?

Czech Republic as a Partner of the EU Urban Agenda Partnership can work with other European Public authorities and share the good examples and strategies of Public Procurement. Partnership creates opportunity to meet with partners from other EU Cities, Member States and European institutions and together learn from each other. I am working at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic. We cooperate with many Public and Urban authorities in Czech Republic and we coordinate the Operational Programs for Rural Development and for Fisheries. We can make trainings and workshops for local, regional and public authorities and support them to do innovative and sustainable Public Procurement.

To what action(s) do you participate? What can you tell about this action(s)?

We participate in the Action 'Circular Procurement'. In May we organized in Prague a practical Workshop for Czech Public authorities, Cities and Regions with EU experts for Circular Economy Joan Prummel and Mervyn Jones. We are now preparing to set up a network of Public authorities (around 10 -15 organizations, Cities or Regions) they are interested in making a few Circular Procurement pilots next year and sharing the experiences. We would like to be involved in the Action Building Strategy and Knowledge Exchange (Local Competence Centres). We want to learn how effectively we can implement Public Procurement Strategy in our Ministry and support with our experience other Public and Urban authorities in the Czech Republic. We improve our knowledge and try to find practical tools in innovative and sustainable Public Procurement. In the Action Measuring Spend we want to cooperate on developing a spend analysis tool to measure where our procurement spend goes to and then disseminate that results in the Czech Republic.

Are there advantages to the EU Urban Agenda partnership and what are they?

Yes, very helpful is sharing good and bad Public Procurement experiences with EU Urban Agenda partners. We also have a better opportunity to discuss ambitions and problems in the procurement process with the members of the European Commission. As a great advantage can be considered that the experts from different EU Member States from the Partnership can visit Czech Republic to teach and inspire our public procurement officers.

Can you mention a concrete example of a successful IPP action from your country?

Czech Public Authorities started to use more Prior Market Consultations with suppliers to change routine Public Procurement procedures and make them more innovative. We are trying IPP new methods as Best Value Approach, design-build method, FIDIC contract conditions or Building Information Modeling (BIM). We wanted more often a innovative solution from our suppliers for construction works. A good example can be found, for example, with the Czech railway infrastructure (SŽDC), where the public tender for feasibility study of the high-speed rail line Brno - Přerov - Ostrava was successfully conducted through Best Value method. South Moravian Region prepared a tender for construction works by the Children’s Hospital with Speleotherapy according to the BIM model, design-build method and including many environmental aspects.

What has to be the main focus of the partnership and when will it be judged as successful?

The main focus of the Partnership has to be now an implementation of helpful tools and sharing practical examples of innovative and circular Public Procurement. Workshops, expert missions and exchange of knowledge in our countries can help disseminate results of the Partnership. If our local and national procurement officers start to do more innovative and sustainable Public Procurement, it will be a success.

Expert meetings September and November 2019

Four times a year all partners of our partnership come to Haarlem for a two-day meeting. The progress with the 7 actions of our action plan are shared with and knowledge exchange takes place on themes related to innovation and procurement.

Report of the two-day expert meeting in Haarlem on the 16th and 17th of September 2019.

What was discussed?

After working sessions, the action leaders proudly presented their first draft output/products. The making of these drafts, is the result of intensive collaboration between all partners of the partnership. They make use of the knowledge and experience of other regions, cities and knowledge institutions within and outside the partnership. This clearly shows the added value and need of good European cooperation.

A representative from Member State of Italy (see below) gave a workshop for members of our partnership and colleagues from Haarlem about an "Innovation Broker". A number of examples were used to indicate how this is already being implemented in other countries (national and international).

At the end of the meeting we discussed collaboration with other initiatives and networks and the future of the partnership. Lots of opportunities where noted.

Workshop Innovative Procurement Broker

Impression of workshop

Mauro Draoli (representing Member State Italy) facilitated during the expert-meeting a workshop on Innovative Procurement Brokerage. This kind of broker has a role between the demand and supply-side. The workshop gives a insite on the possible organizational model, the features of an innovation procurement broker and how it practically can support the interaction between public buyers and economic operators.

Innovation comes by challenging the market to come up with a new solutions or, the innovation can come from the market itself. Among other things, a broker has the role to bring the ‘’seeker’’ and the ‘’solver’’ both together.

The broker can play a major role if the demand from the government is not entirely clear, but rather is a search for a creative solution. Italy has experience with brokerage on governmental and regional level. Mauro shared some interesting websites during his presentation:

- InnoCentive was launched in 2001 and bring corporations, government, and nonprofits across a range of industries together to embrace the power of the crowd --> https://www.innocentive.com/

- Challenge enables members of the public compete to help the U.S. government solve problems big and small --> https://www.challenge.gov/

- Herox The Social Network for Innovation. They connect problem solvers to bring innovative thinking to the world --> https://www.herox.com/

Report of the two-day expert meeting in Haarlem on the 25th and 26th November 2019.

What was discussed?

The action leaders proudly presented their final drafts. The attendees gave their reactions after the presentations, making the pieces even sharper and clearer.

Interactive workshop Local Competence Centre

An interactive workshop about Local Competence Centres followed in the afternoon. A Local Competence Centre is considered any formal or informal organization or network consisting of a group of public partners, that work together in any form in the domain of public procurement and thus helping the public sector spending deliver better value by contributing to economic, social, environmental and other local objectives.

Together with the attendees, the proposed working method from the LCC action plan was applied and in this way experienced what steps you should take before you can make a choice about which type of LCC is possible in your situation.

One pager / summary

On the second day, work was done, among other things, on making a summary (one pager) per action of the 7 action plans. This is necessary in order to be able to properly communicate our IPP story to anyone who is involved in procurement.

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

This newsletter is a production by the EU Urban Agenda coordination team Partnership for Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement.

City of Haarlem


Gemaakt met afbeeldingen van Lāsma Artmane - "Edinburgh, Scotland" • rawpixel - "untitled image"