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European Commission adopts procurement paper designed to reduce administrative work

21 January 2016

The European Commission has officially adopted the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD), a policy paper designed to make it easier for businesses to apply for public contracts. The ESPD allows companies to self-certify that they are eligible to apply for public contracts, greatly reducing the current administrative burden.

While the current system varies by country, in most cases suppliers are required to provide full documentation proving their abilities and financial status. Under the new system, only the winning bidder will be required to provide such documents. It is hoped that by lowering the amount of paperwork necessary, more small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to participate in the bidding process.

The ESPD stems from the 2014 Public Procurement Directive, which states that the EU must reduce red tape and encourage SME participation in bidding for public tenders. “By reducing the volume of documents needed, the European Single Procurement Document will make it easier for companies to take part in public award procedures. Public administrations will benefit from a wider range of offers ensuring better quality and value for money,” said Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

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