A substantial part of public investment in the economy is spent through public procurement and on average, it represents 14 % of the GDP in the Member States of the European Union. Public procurement is a key element of the investment process in the public sector and has a strong impact on citizens and the society, given that public services funded and procured by governments provide for the most urgent and/or basic needs of citizens, such as healthcare, education and public infrastructure. Transparency in public procurement is essential to ensure efficiency and accountability of contracting suppliers for the provision of public services. Proper transparency and accountability of public spending relies on fair competition in selecting commercial suppliers to deliver public contracts, tracking the financial aspects of procurement as well as monitoring quality of public services delivered by suppliers and contractors under public contracts.
To achieve better transparency and accountability of public spending, the governments introduce electronic public procurement (eProcurement) systems to deliver efficiency and value for money in the use of public funds. More competition, better access and more participation can be achieved by transforming public procurement procedures into a digital service that uses technology to remove or decrease barriers to entry, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises.
With implementations of eProcurement mandated by the European Union policy and digitalisation in progress in several EU Member States, a frequently missing or neglected component of the digitalisation of public procurement is an easy access to public procurement data and availability of data-driven reporting and monitoring tools for public procurement process management. Despite the presence of the eProcurement systems in most of the EU Member States, governments face a number of challenges related to access to data in public procurement and did not systematically make use of procurement market intelligence to inform its public procurement policies. The problems experienced include:
- Information on procurement procedures and public contracts is difficult to retrieve from existing but sub-optimal eProcurement systems or databases;
- Data is not linked between national publication offices for public procurement and the EU Tenders Electronic Daily and fragmented between procurement conducted at different levels of government (municipal, regional, and central) and central purchasing bodies;
- Public procurement data has no standardised structure, making comparative analysis challenging;
- Lack of availability of process-level transactional data on procurement, contracts and payments;
- Approach to procurement reporting and monitoring is inefficient, unreliable and time-consuming and online analytical tools are not used;
- Inconsistent data quality and duplicate data entries, driven also by the high costs of maintaining software, servers and hardware for multiple data repositories.
The objective of the Project is to employ emerging technologies, an innovative approach to public procurement data collection and latest policies on public procurement and open data to address challenges in respect to access to public procurement data and availability of data-driven reporting and monitoring tools for public procurement process management. The Project aims to:
- Provide improved quality public procurement data to guide decision-making in the government on public procurement, to improve investments efficiency, fiscal efficiency and facilitate digital and evidence-based public sector project management;
- Create access to public procurement data to general public and business community to improve transparency of public spending for citizens, in particular in respect to environmental and economic sustainability of public infrastructure;
- Develop automated data-driven public procurement statistical and/or monitoring reports, to improve efficiency and accountability of government departments responsible for public procurement market oversight and/or monitoring sectoral, strategic or complex public procurements. The vision to achieve these objectives contains three primary technical cooperation activities:
- Implementation of an open contracting data standard in the existing national-level eProcurement systems or databases;
- Deployment of a set of the open contracting data standard business intelligence-based reporting and monitoring tools to enable analysis of public procurement data and ensure transparency towards citizens and businesses;
- Creation of an online learning community among representatives of public administration in the pilot countries and civil society organisations to explore and innovate with use of the open contracting data standard public procurement data.
The Project will firstly be rolled out in Greece (in cooperation with the Hellenic Single Public Procurement Authority of Greece) and Poland (in cooperation with the Polish Towns Association and the Ministry of Digitalisation of Poland) and then, depending on the success of the pilot, may be launched in other countries of EBRD operation.
Any competitive selections for business opportunities relating to this project will be published on the EBRD's website: Consultancy Procurement Opportunities.
EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
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Access to Information Policy (AIP)
The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.
Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form
Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)
If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).
IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.
Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM via email email@example.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.