BSI project

The BSI project has gathered a collection of good practices showing how the social aspects of the new public procurement directive 2014/24/EU can be implemented in practice across the EU member states. Publication is available here.

The publication gathers 22 examples of good practice from 12 EU Member States. These include good practice from 8 of the countries targeted by the BSI project, as well as examples from another 4 Member States (Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, and the UK).

Of the good practices analysed, 13 concern public procurement procedures, while 9 are examples of policy initiatives and support structures (i.e. strategies, networks of facilitators, capacity-building projects or programmes, databases, etc.). This reflects one of the key findings of the project, namely, that legal frameworks must be coupled with initiatives to increase knowledge and build capacity among public authorities and economic operators (including social economy enterprises) in order to ensure sufficient implementation of socially responsible public procurement (SRPP).

Good practices were identified with the support of legal experts.

The project’s research showed that the use of social provisions such as reserved contracts for work integration of persons with disabilities or disadvantaged workers (Art. 20) was quite widespread. Less common were examples of the use of grounds for exclusion, division of contracts into lots, pre-market consultations, implementation of specific quality criteria for social services, and labels. Looking at the economic sectors in which SRPP is implemented, good practices show that SRPP is more widespread in sectors such as maintenance of public green spaces, cleaning services, and social services, and to a lesser extent in the construction, food / catering / restaurants, transport services, and textiles sectors.

However, in most of the countries analysed, social economy enterprises are economically active in other sectors (including healthcare; education; environmental services and energy; sport and recreational services; culture; art; and IT) in which contracting authorities should encourage bids from SMEs and social economy enterprises.

During the implementation of the BSI project it became clear that exchanging information and disseminating good practice examples across countries is extremely helpful for contracting authorities, as they can learn and be inspired by what happens elsewhere. A new project “Collecting good practices and raising awareness on social procurement, funded by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in the frame of COSME, is taking a similar approach. Running from September 2019 to March 2021, it is led by ICLEI, in partnership with AEIDL and in cooperation with Social Economy Europe (sub-contractor).