February, 2017

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New course on Societally Responsible Public Procurement at Utrecht University

The Public Procurement Research Centre (PPRC) has initiated a new course on ‘Societally Responsible Public Procurement’ for master students at Utrecht University. Students enrolled in the masters European Law, Administrative Law and Corporate Law can subscribe for the course, which takes place in February 2017. The aim of the course is to let students gain a deeper understanding of the legal, economic and policy background of public procurement and EU public procurement law.

The course consists of several meetings including two peer-review feedback sessions and presentations of the papers that have been written by students. Lecturers from different disciplines will touch upon the following themes:

Prof. dr. Elisabetta Manunza, who is the co-director of the Public Procurement Research Centre, will lead the discussions during the feedback sessions in cooperation with mr. Willem Janssen. Also see prof. dr. Elisabetta Manunza’s lecture from 7 October 2016 on the EU 2020 strategy.

Introduction to the course

Every year, over 250.000 public authorities in the EU spend around 14-19% of their Member States’ GDP on the purchase of services, works and supplies. Public procurement amounts to a staggering 120 billion in the Netherlands alone. It is often in society’s best interest to put these expenditures up for tender. This allows public authorities to competitively purchase, for instance, healthcare services, infrastructure or office supplies for the best quality and price. Traditionally speaking, EU public procurement law ensures that the principles of equality (non-discrimination), transparency, objectivity and proportionality are procedurally safeguarded in public procurement procedures. This is often referred to as the primary ‘procedural role’ of EU public procurement law.

The European Union and its Member States have, however, envisioned a secondary ‘instrumental role’ for EU public procurement law. The Europe 2020 strategy assigns great importance to this field of law to achieve the EU’s objective of smart, inclusive and sustainable growth. As a consequence, public procurement must also contribute to objectives relating to sustainability, human rights and social aspects in light of the EU’s social market economy. This often means that public authorities require from interested parties to offer services, works, or supplies that are produced or provided with a view of contributing to these objectives. This has prompted a trend towards public procurement procedures in which it is required that the production processes of products cannot harm the environment or violate human rights of employees. Furthermore, it can mean that public authorities demand that the projects must be (partially) completed by a workforce of previously long-term unemployed. In this view, public procurement must, thus, also be societally responsible. Despite the enormous potential of this additional role, it causes tensions with the legal principles and primary objectives of EU public procurement law. As a consequence, public authorities often struggle to deal with these tensions arising from the law and (local) policy. This course analyses the instrumental role of public procurement by evaluating how it fits within the current legal framework of EU public procurement law, where tensions arise whilst aiming to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives and how these tension can be best dealt with in practice.

Prof. mr. Elisabetta Manunza benoemd als lid Kwaliteitscommissie Bibob

Per november is prof mr Elisabetta Manunza benoemd voor de komende vier jaar tot de Kwaliteitscommissie Bibob door de Minister van Veiligheid en Justitie. Om de transparantie en de kwaliteit van de Bibob-adviezen te bevorderen, is een onafhankelijke kwaliteitscommissie opgericht die steekproefsgewijs de kwaliteit van de adviezen van het Bureau en de zorgvuldigheid waarmee die adviezen worden gemaakt, beoordeelt. De kwaliteitscommissie rapporteert aan de minister van Veiligheid en Justitie en brengt jaarlijks een verslag uit. Het besluit van de Minister van Veiligheid en Justitie van 23 november 2016 om Manunza te benoemen als lid van de commissie is ook te vinden in de Staatscourant, artikel 4.

Prof. dr. Jan Telgen geïnterviewd over besluit Minister Kamp

Om de controlerende taken van de rekenkamer eenvoudiger te maken, heeft minister Kamp besloten dat overheidsopdrachten onder de €50.000 enkelvoudig onderhands mogen worden gegund. Echter, stelt Jan Telgen, bevordert dit juist vriendjespolitiek en wordt vooral het midden- en kleinbedrijf hierdoor  benadeeld. In eerdere jaren lag de grens nog op €25.000.

Klik hier om het volledige artikel te lezen.