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État de droit | 1 novembre 2012

Créer un environnement juridique favorable au développement durable dans les marchés publics
État de droit

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Créer un environnement juridique favorable au développement durable dans les marchés publics

In this short document ClientEarth explains some of the legal points that need to be resolved in the upcoming vote on the revised Public Procurement Directive. We need to clear the way for an EU framework that enables strategic sustainable public procurement.

As demanded by the Parliament’s October 2011 report on modernising public procurement, moving away from the ‘lowest price wins’ will help to enable this sort of more efficient spending.  But this alone will not achieve enough change on the ground. The effective deployment of strategic buying is currently hampered by legal uncertainties in the rules that govern how authorities procure.

Instead public authorities need to be empowered to make choices that recognise sustainability concerns (both environmental and social) where they see fit to do so.

Key issues that need to be addressed:

  • It needs to be explicit that characteristics relating to both use and sustainability should be recognised as valid and valued.
  • The public authority’s choice between using a characteristic as a minimum requirement (‘technical specification’) or rewarding a characteristic in the evaluation (‘award criterion’) should not be constrained.
  • The scope of life-cycle costing needs to include costs relating to the production phase and allow evaluation of indirect impacts on the public purse through health consequences or resource insecurity.
  • Monetisation is only part of the story – life-cycle costing must not be the only way that authorities can incorporate sustainability concerns into public procurement.