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UK public procurement most expensive in EU

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A new report conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has revealed the UK’s public procurement process to be the most expensive in the European Union, with the average cost of a competitive procurement process £45,200; £21,300 higher than the EU average. The research took into account both costs to public sector bodies aiming to attract bids, and private suppliers aiming to win contracts.

The UK comes only fourth in terms of the most expensive countries in Europe for public bodies putting contracts out to market however, coming behind Denmark, Norway and Italy with an average cost of £1,260 per bid received (the EU average stands at £800). The UK is above the EU average in terms of competitiveness, with an average of 6.4 bids per competition.

In terms of length, the UK procurement process was calculated to be 53 days longer than the EU average. The study put the blame for the expense and length on the complexity of the bidding process. Complexity also reduces the number of potential suppliers that will bid for a contract, and discriminates against smaller firms that may not have the resources to engage in the process. The research was commissioned by e-procurement provider Gatewit.

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