Who we are?
We are a collaboration of non-government organisations and professionals working to ensure that public procurement is spent fairly, openly, efficiently, and creates the best value for money and best outcomes for Europeans.
We are working at the national and EU levels to advance the principles of openness in procurement within the EU. We advocate for user-friendly, accessible information across the entire procurement process by European governments from the planning, to the tender and award of contracts, to their delivery.
We want governments to plan and deliver contracts involving relevant stakeholders throughout the process so that the best outcomes can be designed into public contracting from the start.
We want procurement processes to be simple and user-friendly so that smaller businesses and entrepreneurs have a level playing field to compete.
Reimagining a vital public service across Europe
We want governments to treat procurement as a user-friendly data-driven digital public service to maximize social impact. Open e-procurement systems should produce standardized data and analysis to power sustainable, green, socially responsible, and innovative procurement.
Open procurement will decrease levels of corruption and lead to fundamentally better outcomes for governments (more/better insight, analysis, and efficiency), for businesses (fairer competition, ability to research the market, and fostering of entrepreneurship), and civil society (improved integrity of governmental institutions, better monitoring, and tracking of service delivery).
Using open data, technology, and engagement, we are working both on a national level and with the EU institutions to push for a genuine public procurement transformation, striving to achieve public spending that is:
- Open by design procurement systems, which will automatically share user-friendly real-time, high-quality, well-structured, and standardised open data on the whole procurement process, from planning to implementation, for all procurement by EU member states (both above and below the European Commission’s Europe wide tendering threshold ).
- Effectively monitored: a procurement system that is open by design would power better monitoring through the publication of high-quality uniform datasets, embedded active monitoring through i.e. red flagging, and directly supporting civil society monitoring which would, ultimately, help to uncover, prevent and deter corruption.
- Inclusive and gender-responsive: publishing more information will ensure easier access to tendering information. This, in turn, can lower entry and cost barriers of doing business for SMEs, and ultimately make procurement opportunities equally accessible to all, including for example minority-and women-owned businesses.
How can we help achieve it? Top 5 EU advocacy objectives before 2024
- Full implementation of standardised TED e-forms: We will support the European Commission (DG GROW) in implementing the newly-introduced Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) e-forms to the fullest scope possible, allowing the Member States to collect full, high-quality, and structured procurement information. The EC should assign proper funding to seize the opportunity. We, together with the EC, will encourage countries to use e-Forms for below-threshold procurement, as well as collecting and publishing as many optional data fields as possible. The coalition can strengthen the social mandate of the EC in this field.
- Make procurement a high-value dataset under the Public Sector Information Directive: We will help the European Commission (DG CONNECT) to mandate Member States to publish all company ownership and procurement-related data (from planning to implementation, including all bids below TED and national thresholds) in consistent, standardised, and comparable open formats (for example, in line with the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS)) by including it under Annex I of the Public Sector Information Directive. More detailed information can be found in this public letter.
- Use open procurement data as an anti-corruption mechanism: We will urge the Council to include open contracting data as an additional anti-corruption mechanism, included in the Digital Europe programme for the period 2021-2027, under paragraph 2.3. Measures to prevent fraud and irregularities. Accessible and published data can also assist in identifying red flags from the early procurement stages. The Council should double the efforts in supporting Member States in building complex anti-corruption frameworks which will effectively counter corruption in procurement-related frauds. Also, the European Council should set the tone for the rest of the EU, by including open contracting under the Digital single market for Europe policy, and into the recovery policy agenda as part of the debate on the digital priorities in the post COVID-19 recovery.
- Implement Green Public Procurement to achieve the European Green Deal: We will assist the European Commission (DG ENVI) in urging all Member States to use open data to promote and implement Green Public Procurement (GPP). GPP is fully aligned with the European Green Deal and the 2014 Procurement Directives which enable public authorities to take environmental considerations into account. Transparent and open data will allow Public Authorities to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact, and to deliver ﬁnancial savings by reducing the cost of contracts. Furthermore, GPP can be applied to contracts both above and below the threshold for application of the Procurement Directives. See this article for more thoughts around green procurement and open contracting.
- Make open procurement a priority for all EU institutions: We will work with the European Parliament in contributing to a pan-European discussion and helping put open contracting on the agenda, encouraging the European Commission and the Council to act promptly.