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Analysis of procurement directives reform published

3 August 2012

A recent article, available on the Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre, outlines the issues arising from the European Council’s publishing of its proposed compromise text for a new public sector procurement directive. The text has undergone a number of revisions from its previous iteration, and several areas that could impede the smooth implementation of Sustainable Public Procurement have been amended.

Author of the article Abby Semple, a procurement law expert, outlines the main changes to the directive, such as the incorporation of the recent ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Dutch coffee case (analysis of this ruling also available). The court ruled that fair trade production requirements are acceptable as award criteria and contract performance clauses, but that social provisions can only be included in award criteria and contract performance conditions, not in technical specifications.

The revised text enhances the use of social and environmental labels as a means to verify performance, and includes a requirement to accept self-declarations where an operator did not have access to a label or could not obtain it within the relevant time limits. In terms of life cycle-costing, the ability to submit a tailor-made criteria has been removed. The analysis also looks at abnormally low tenders, changes to the innovation partnership procedure and provides notes on the drafting.

To read the analysis, click here.