What’s new for public procurement contracts?
From 1 December 2017, Brussels administrations and Public Interest Organisations will be obliged to systematically inform companies of the publication of public procurement contracts online. This provision aims to increase the administration’s transparency, ensure greater access to public procurement contracts and increase economic activity, especially for SMEs and VSEs. Thus, a digital bridge is built between administrations and enterprises.
1. Accessible public procurement contracts in order to boost the regional economy
In Belgium, public procurement contracts represent about 15% of the GDP. Conscious of this economic interest, the Brussels-Capital Region is following the recommendations of European authorities and is subscribing to a more open digital approach directed at Brussels companies by publishing public procurement contracts on the web.
Thus, regional administrations help companies to obtain information about the Region’s contracts, all activities combined, and submit a tender for the ones in which they wish to participate. This represents great progress for companies. In this way, administrations benefit from more tenders, are able to widen the range of potential suppliers and award contracts to services providers which they sometimes did not even know.
Thanks to the e-Procurement platform developed by the FPS Service Strategy and Support, Brussels administrations are able to easily publish their public procurement contracts online in a secure and transparent manner for contracts worth €30,000 and over.
2. The benefits for companies
Apart from competitiveness and economic dynamism for the region, the benefits of online public procurement contracts for companies, and especially SMEs, micro enterprises and start-ups, meet their need for economic opportunities and practical solutions. When signing up to the online public procurement platform, companies benefit from a system which, in addition to increasing access to public procurement contracts and providing information about public procurement contract notifications in general, allows them to download specifications, benefit from guarantees for simplified procedures, submit their tenders in just a few clicks in a completely secure manner, save time and costs (printing, postage, etc.), take advantage of a free notification service and consult their files at any time.
Furthermore, it is completely free of charge for public buyers and companies.
3. Zoom on the new conditions
In concrete terms, the circular implies the following measures entering into force on 1 December 2017:
- Contracts over €30,000 excl. VAT must be published on e-Procurement (up to €135,000 excl. VAT in the Free Market environment, from €135,000 excl. VAT in the Bulletin of Adjudications via the buyer environment).
- The submission of tenders and participation requests via e-Tendering is authorised for companies and should be activated by the adjudicating authorities for contracts equivalent to or over €30,000 excl. VAT.
4. Information and support
In order to prepare the transition to these new measures, regional administrations and institutions are integrating the conditions of the new circular. Several communications are being held with administrations and organisations representing the business sector with a view to informing companies as best as possible.
Easybrussels is in charge of coordinating these actions and informing regional administrations and institutions, as well as Brussels enterprises, about public procurement contracts in Brussels. Since 2016, the agency has offered 15 training courses on the different modules of the e-Procurement platform to some 255 staff members so that they are able to familiarise themselves with the tool and adopt it easily.
In order to ensure faultless support for companies for easy registration and effective use of e-Procurement, a manual and various documents concerning electronic procedures for the awarding of public procurement contracts are available online. A helpdesk is also available to answer questions from companies and administrations.
Do you want to find out more?
The e-Procurement helpdesk is at your service every working day from 8.30 am to 12.00 pm and from 1.15 pm to 4.30 pm. Please bear in mind that the helpdesk does not provide legal or technical support.
How to contact the helpdesk?
02 790 52 00