Centralization of public procurement at the UACES 45th Annual Conference

BECCLE’s Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui participated in the 45th UACES Annual Conference taking place in Bilbao, Spain, in September.

UACES is a yearly conference that gathers European academics in an interdisciplinary event. More than 400 research papers were presented from topics ranging from Political Science, EU Studies, general EU Law, Competition Law and Public Procurement Law.

Ignacio’s paper: “Centralizing Public Procurement Purchases in Directive 2014/24: Suggestions towards Competitiveness” was part of a large international panel discussion centralization and contract modifications in the new procurement directive. The panel was led by Senior Lecturer Albert Sánchez Graells, University of Bristol, and had the participation of PhD Candidate Xavier Codina García-Andrade, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

The paper discusses how “Centralized purchasing benefits contracting authorities and society in general as it may reduce purchasing prices and transaction costs, lead to administrative economies of scale, and help specializing procurement officers across Member States. Centralization techniques are also used to pursue broader economic goals, such as fostering innovation, create competitive markets and sustain development. Directive 2014/24 reinforces the impulse given to central purchasing bodies due its popularity and establishes two different types: either wholesalers/wholebuyers or intermediaries that carry out procurement on behalf of other contracting authorities. However, the competitive benefits that may be generated by centralization can also be eroded by its abuse and inadequate implementation, particularly when dynamic efficiency is jeopardized by focusing on pure cost-saving and short term results. This paper addresses the benefits and concerns derived from centralized purchasing from a microeconomic and legal perspective and proposes that centralization should be carried out in a pro-competitive manner with an emphasis on long term efficiency, benefiting all stakeholders, and not purely tender cost saving. To do so, central purchasing bodies and their purchasing power should be regulated by adopting conducts in line with competitive standards and public procurement “best-practices” guaranteeing that buyer power is not abused and the competitive playing field is preserved.”

The full version of the paper is available at SSRN

A revised version of the paper is forthcoming in the upcoming edition of the European Law Reporter.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for the author, please contact Ignacio.