EU urged to streamline and simplify procurement red tape

13 Jul 16

Public procurement by the European Union is mired in red tape and efforts should be made to help businesses identify contracting opportunities and submit tenders, auditors have said.

EU institutions – the commission, Parliament, Council and European Central Bank – bought goods and services worth €4bn in 2014. But a report published by the European Court of Auditors today highlighted complex and opaque procedures, which could deter businesses from bidding for contracts.

The watchdog called for the creation of an online “one-stop” procurement hub where tenderers can find the information they need to interact with EU institutions.

Alex Brenninkmeijer, the ECA member responsible for the report, said: “The EU institutions should do more to help businesses – especially SMEs – by cutting red tape as much as possible and removing the unnecessary hurdles facing anyone who wants to find out what contracts are on offer.”

Other recommendations include preliminary market consultations so businesses are kept abreast of EU institutions’ plans and a mechanism to quickly review complaints from businesses that feel they have been unfairly treated.

Contracts should also be broken up into lots where possible to increase participation.

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