The European Commission has published an updated guide intended to help public officials avoid the most frequent errors and adopt best practices in public procurement of projects funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and beyond.
The guide also sets out how officials can make the most out of the opportunities offered by the revised public procurement directives of 2014, “i.e. less red tape and more online procedures to make it easier for small businesses to participate in public tenders and the possibility of introducing new criteria in award decision to choose socially responsible companies and innovative, environment-friendly products”.
The Commission said the guide – Public procurement guidance for practitioners on avoiding the most common errors in projects funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds – “helps to identify and avoid areas of potential risk of errors in public procurement, a major source of irregularities in the management of EU funds.
“By doing so, this tool will not only ensure regularity and transparency, but will also improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of public procurement with significant potential gains in terms of fair competition and quality of investments for the benefit of the public administrations, the companies involved and the end beneficiaries of the projects.”
The guide contains practical suggestions, series of good practices, real-life examples, explanations on specific topics, case studies and templates and useful links in order to help those who are involved in the day-to-day management of EU-supported projects. It also describes the most common mistakes and explains how to avoid them and how to handle each situation.