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European Commission launches initiative to support efficient and professional procurement

The European Commission has put forward an initiative to carry out procurement in a more sustainable and efficient manner. The Communication from October 2017 highlights the importance of value-based procurement and the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) criteria for strategic procurement, particularly in healthcare services. According to the European Commission, patients need improved access to better quality healthcare including the latest innovation of medical equipment and diagnostic tools. To ensure the delivery of high-quality services, a strategic approach to sourcing is needed based on modern and efficient procurement processes. Priority areas for improvement is a greater uptake of innovative, green and social criteria in awards and better cooperation among public buyers across the European Union (EU).

The initiative also includes recommendations for the professionalisation of public procurement. In the recommendation, the European Commission calls on the Member States and public purchasing authorities to ensure that buyers have the business skills, technical knowledge and procedural understanding needed to make sure that taxpayers get the best value for their money. According to the European Commission, it is the responsibility of Member States, purchasers, and industry alike to ensure value-based procurement. The European Commission calls on Member States to provide trainings to procurers, clear national rules for value-based procurement and the application of MEAT criteria, and practical procurement guidelines. It encourages industry on the other hand to support procurers by providing evaluation models for comparing different solutions in an objective manner.

To support this process, the Commission commits to develop a range of tools, including guidelines and best practices on multiple key areas in order to make procurement as simple and effective as possible.

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