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Public procurement passport endorsed for Europe

29 September 2011

European lawmakers could be set to introduce a new public procurement passport that will make purchasing procedures more streamlined.

Internal Market Committee MEPs have voted in favour of a non-legislative resolution to introduce the electronic passport in order to make tendering for procurement contracts less cumbersome and expensive for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

At present, restrictive legislation means that SMEs win a disproportionately low number of public procurement contracts, whereas the new system would make it easy for firms to prove their regulatory credentials.

Other planned measures include the division of public contracts into lots and the use of self-declarations of compliance, all of which would be of benefit to smaller companies.

Parliamentary rapporteur Heide Ruhle said: "The European Commission will have to recognise the strong view among MEPs that the rules should be simplified, to make them more flexible and give SMEs better access."

This comes after Willie Watt of building company Nicoll Russell told Supply Management earlier this month that UK regulations surrounding public sector buying processes are currently too complex.

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