Discriminatory practices in public procurement of ICT

Putting figures on the map

Discrimination in public procurement of IT leads to...

  • Vendor lock-in ;
  • Higher expenses ;
  • Loss in control and flexibility ;
  • Market distortions.

How do you measure discrimination?

CC BY-SA 3.0 Gothika

Our shadows on the wall of the cave :
 brand name references

What the law says

Unless justified by the subject-matter of the contract, technical specifications shall not refer to a specific make or source, or a particular process which characterises the products or services provided by a specific economic operator, or to trade marks, patents, types or a specific origin or production with the effect of favouring or eliminating certain undertakings or certain products. Such reference shall be permitted on an exceptional basis, where a sufficiently precise and intelligible description of the subject-matter of the contract pursuant to paragraph 3 is not possible. Such reference shall be accompanied by the words ‘or equivalent’.

Directive 2014/24/EU (and before that Directive 2004/18/EC) :

Our methodology

  • Extracts of tender notices posted on TED ;
  • “Software package and information systems” ;
  • 3 months period ;
  • Usually around 600-900 tender notices ;
  • Full methodology here & detailed results available upon request.

Findings

Taking a closer look

What brands?

Which countries?

Proportion of tender notices with a discriminatory impact, by countries, in percentage

CC BY SA 3.0 Uwe Kils

A few recommendations

  • Don't use brand name references (obviously), but don't limit yourself to removing them ! Prefer using Open Standards ;
  • Education, education, education ;
  • Look at and learn from what is happening in other administrations.

Discriminatory practices in public procurement of ICT - Putting figures on the map

By maelig

Discriminatory practices in public procurement of ICT - Putting figures on the map

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