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This is our weekly European public procurement news roundup. We will be bringing you recent public sector stories and information from around Europe’s news portals, reporting on how more than a trillion Euros of taxpayer money is being spent. This will become part of a future initiative to bring you more frequent, online reporting. Watch this space.

CETA signed, sealed and delivered

A week ago, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, and the Canadian Prime Minister signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. The EC has issued a press release detailing the benefits that the EC sees for this venture, including elimination of most import duties: “… saving European exporters of industrial goods and agricultural products more than €500 million a year.” It states: “On average, each additional €1 billion of exports supports 15.000 jobs in the EU. 31 million jobs in Europe depend on exports.” There’s a lot more detail in the full press release.

South Africa Further Procurement Reforms (not EU news but good to know)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced earlier this week that a new Bill to introduce procurement reforms in government is to come before Cabinet before April next year. The Public Procurement Bill is part of a move, along with other procurement reforms, to reduce corruption and irregular expenditure, estimated at tens of billions of rands. “Government is also stepping up its plan to centralise procurement through transversal contracts, which Treasury believes will limit corruption and ensure more value for money,” says IOL Online. “The bill will also empower the Chief Procurement Officer to conduct lifestyle audits and review transactions across the public sector.” Automation processes are also due to be rolled out to replace manual ones.

Ukraine Economy Ministry announced launch of public procurement system

We wrote here about the Transparency International ProZorro portal to help eliminate corruption in public procurement. Now Ukraine, after a year of pilot testing, announces the launch of the system, an internet portal for public procurement monitoring – DoZorro. There’s more here on Interfax – Ukraine.

Germany procuring 7 bridge-laying systems reports that Germany is to procure 7 Leguan Bridge-Laying Systems from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. “The project also includes transport systems as well as training simulators and ancillary equipment … The total order volume amounts to roughly EUR 88 million,” it explains. “This will enable the Bundeswehr to cross water obstacles and gaps in terrain, even with heavy machinery … Germany had warranted this capability to NATO regarding its involvement in the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) as of 2019 …” There’s more on the website.

Poland joins NATO procurement group

“Poland has joined a NATO defense project for multinational procurement of air-ground precision-guided munitions, NATO announced,” reports UPI. Called Smart Defense, the initiative “enables the participating allies to continuously address all aspects of their air-to-ground precision-guided munitions requirements on more favorable terms by leveraging economies of scale and improved stockpile management.”

English fluency requirements come into force for Public Sector

The UK Government published a code of practice earlier this year to help employers meet the new language requirements that were due to come into force this November. New ‘English language requirements’ are for those public-sector workers in customer-facing roles and the standard of English or Welsh required depends on factors such as “the frequency, topic and length of spoken interaction, and the significance of spoken interaction for service delivery.” It applies to all central Government departments – so one would assume this applies to negotiating with suppliers.

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