Public procurement

What is it?

Public procurement is the purchase of goods, services and public works by governments and public utilities. Public procurement contracts have an important economic role in many sectors, as they effect on:

  • public transport
  • infrastructure works
  • built environment
  • urban planning
  • services (in schools, hospitals, ministries…)
  • equipment (computers, furniture, etc) in public offices
  • water supplies
  • waste treatment
     

What is the impact for persons with disabilities?

Public procurement has a direct impact on the daily lives of European citizens, on employment conditions, health and the social inclusion of disadvantaged or discriminated groups, including persons with disabilities.

The European Union has the responsibility to define the award rules of public procurement contracts that must be applied in all EU Member States by public authorities.

EDF contributed to the revision of pas legislation to make sure that the specific needs of persons with disabilities in this area were not forgotten. EDF has engaged with the European Parliament to ensure that the final legislation would support and reinforce the provisions in favour of persons with disabilities proposed by the European Commission.In January 2014 the EU adopted a new Directive on Public Procurement.

Several provisions refer to persons with disabilities. It is worthwhile to note that new award criteria for the most advantageous economic tenders include specific references to accessibility for persons with disabilities and design for all users as part of the quality of a tender.

In addition accessibility and design for all users’ criteria become an obligation when drawing up technical specifications for all goods and services that are intended to be used by the public or staff.

Furthermore public authorities can include employing persons with disabilities as a condition to award a contract.

Finally the provision on reserved contract has been amended as to cover not only sheltered workshops, and sheltered employment programmes but economic operators that are aimed at the social and professional integration of disabled persons and disadvantaged persons which employ at least 30% of disabled or disadvantaged persons.

These rules will greatly contribute to changing practices both in the private and public sector with regard to persons with disabilities and will have a considerable impact also at the economic level.

The consolidated text of the new rules can be found here.

More information

 

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