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Public sector procurement is a hugely important part of a governments’ influence on the economy, both in terms of its size and the way in which it is conducted. The EU has introduced laws to open public procurement contracts to suppliers from anywhere in the Union, and is currently re-examining policy towards the use of procurement to achieve ancillary objectives.

Competitive procurement is an important way of bringing the benefits of competition into the operations of regulated utilities.

Types of Project

Our studies in this area have provided contributions to policy development, and reviewed procurement decisions as they affect smaller firms, defence contractors, the railway business, and the purchase of pharmaceuticals by the Portuguese regulatory authority.

Our projects have provided advice on issues such as:

  • the economic and other effects of the EU Procurement Directives;   
  • providing a critique of the Glover Report into procurement from smaller firms;
  • the success of the US policy for set-asides from public procurement of contracts for smaller businesses;
  • the use of electronic tendering in procurement;
  • the role played by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European defence sector, and the ways in which they could be encouraged;
  • a study on how SMEs’ innovative potential could be better engaged in defence;
  • procurement of medicines in Portugal, so as to achieve good value for the Government and a fair contribution from patients;
  • competitive procurement as an indicator of efficiency
  • analysis of ICT procurement practices and the development of Guidelines for public procurers of ICT goods and services.

Our Clients

Our clients in this area have included the European Parliament, the European Commission (DG Internal Market and Services, DG Enterprise and Industry), the European Defence Agency, the UK’s Office for Government Commerce, and the Enterprise Trust.

Our Experts

Our in-house experts in this area include: Dermot Glynn, Pau Salsas, Iona McCall, Nick Owen and Deborah Drury.

Primary contacts: Pau Salsas, Iona McCall and Deborah Drury.