Innovative public procurement are three words that are striking a cord with West
Midlands MEP Malcolm Harbour as he works on major reforms of European legislation to help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises [SMEs] get their share of the many thousands of public contracts.
These reforms will help resolve the ‘double whammy’ facing public authorities – tighter budgets and growing demands from an ageing population and the drive to meet sustainability targets. Mr Harbour commented: “With public procurement accounting for over 16 percent of EU GDP, such huge spending power needs to be more readily available to our SMEs. Small, innovative, research-driven enterprises can come up with the innovative solutions to the many problems that the public sector faces.
“It’s also so important for public bodies to consider more than just the bottom line
cost; factors such as the environmental footprint or end-of-life recycling costs should also be considered. Let’s face it; lowest price isn’t always the best value for money at the end of the day.” Support for innovation in public procurement has come from the top.
David Cameron has taken the lead, with 12 other Prime Ministers, in calling for an EU funding plan to support groundbreaking public projects involving SMEs. The recommendations on innovative public procurement made by the influential Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee [IMCO], which Malcolm hairs, have now being adopted in the EU Commission’s reform plans.