Finland sets sights on improving social impact of procurement

11 Sep 20

Finland hopes to make public procurement more responsible, increasing its positive impact on the environment, society and the economy.

 

The announcement came as the Finnish government published its national procurement strategy, prepared by the state administration alongside local government, experts and suppliers.

“These exceptional times have demonstrated the strategic importance of public procurement,” deputy chief executive of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities Hanna Tainio said in the foreword to the strategy document.

“Taking care of the health and safety of citizens and local residents requires seamless cooperation between different authorities. While preparing the report, many other challenges in our society have also been identified, which require common solutions through procurement.”

An estimated €35bn is spent on public procurement each year in Finland.

As well as making financial savings, officials said better public procurement guidelines could reduce emissions, promote workers’ rights and reduce corruption.

The strategy document described generally “good development work” in this field in Finland, but also set out a series of measures to drive improvement.

These focus on strategic management and promoting procurement skills across the country, building expertise and sharing results and best-practice between bodies.

“When taxpayers' money is used carefully it can achieve common goals, whether that is better quality services, reducing emissions or respecting human rights in the workplace,” said local government minister Sirpa Paatero.

“Through dialogue, contract terms, benchmarks and their monitoring, we will also create a competitive advantage for responsible Finnish companies.”

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