Procurement: key to quality of service provision
The government procures around € 60 billion worth of work, services and supplies every year. Much of this is for the primary process: roads, bridges, home care, school books, school transport, and so on. Procurement is therefore a key tool for ensuring quality in government services. But not all authorities see it that way yet. Professional procurement means linking procurement to your policy aims and budget and focusing on efficiency and quality. All too often, the focus in procurement is still very much on following tendering rules and opting for the lowest price.
Professional procurement/tendering delivers:
- lower failure costs;
- more interaction with the market (supply chain integration and market knowledge);
- innovation (sustainability);
- value for taxpayers' money.
PIANOo, the Dutch Public Procurement Expertise Centre, was set up in 2005. It started out as a knowledge network for government procurement officers and contracting authorities. The name PIANOo stands for: Professioneel en Innovatief Aanbesteden, Netwerk voor Overheidsopdrachtgevers (Professional and Innovative Tendering, Network for Government Contracting Authorities).
Expertise Centre in a large network
Since its start PIANOo has become the tendering expertise centre for the government. Our expertise is built up through a large network of around 3,500 public procurement professionals and contracting authorities. PIANOo brings experts in specific areas together, pools knowledge and experience and provides advice. It also fosters dialogue between government contracting authorities and private sector companies.
Products and services
The main website for procurement and tendering in the public sector, with around 3,700 unique guests per week. Here you can find information, advice, useful tools and model documents. The website is intended for both public and private sector organisations. PIANOo also publishes a free fortnightly e-newsletter, PIANOo-Alert, in which it highlights the most important and most read news items.
The private discussion platform for public sector procurement professionals and contracting authorities. PIANOo-desk is a virtual meeting place for users to exchange experiences, ask questions, take part in discussions, share files, collaborate on documents and plan projects.
More information: www.pianoo-desk.nl
PIANOo meetings are an opportunity to meet other procurement and tendering professionals and exchange information and practical experiences. There are various meetings to choose from:
• monthly PIANOo lunch meetings on topical subjects;
• regional meetings: two four-session series per year on specific themes, held in different places across the Netherlands;
• PIANOo conference: the top annual event for public procurement professionals, with a choice of sessions to attend;
• PIANOo market meetings: we organise joint meetings with the industry at which economic operators and public sector contracting authorities meet to discuss tendering and ways to improve tendering strategies.
See www.pianoo.nl (Over PIANOo) for dates and subjects of meetings (in Dutch).
- Publications (including from the Procurement Management expert group)
How do you use micro-lots or apply the marketplace principle? How can you encourage innovation-focused procurement? PIANOo publishes a series of practical guides on these and other subjects. The PIANOo expert group on Public Sector Procurement deals with topical procurement issues with a mixture of practical knowledge and scientific insights. The results are published in a series of accessible brochures.
See www.pianoo.nl (Over PIANOo) for a list of PIANOo publications (in Dutch).
- Vision documents by the Tendering Law expert group
The PIANOo Tendering Law expert group tackles complex legal issues in procurement practice and provides advice and recommendations. These are published in vision documents which are available on pianoo.nl and in a handy folder.
- Q&A section
PIANOo has a Question and Answer section where public procurement and tendering professionals can find answers to more complex questions.
- Tendering Law course
Procurement professionals and lawyers in the public sector are expected to have an in-depth knowledge of tendering legislation. The PIANOo Tendering Law course takes them through the key aspects of Dutch and European tendering law.
TenderNed is the virtual marketplace for tenders. It is quick and easy to use and makes invitations to tender much more accessible, saving contracting authorities and private sector companies money.
More information: www.TenderNed.nl
PIANOo brings together
- water boards, municipalities, provinces, national government and other public bodies;
- work, supplies and services;
- knowledge, policy and practice;
- contracting authorities and economic operators (public and private sector).
The Dutch government, together with regional and local authorities, wants to stimulate the market for sustainable products. NL Agency has developed criteria and practical instruments to implement Sustainable Procurement within the organisation. PIANOo provides the information mentioned above in Dutch.
More information is available on agentschapnl.nl.
Practical and demand-led
PIANOo addresses a wide range of subjects in procurement practice. Wherever possible, we are guided by the questions and signals we receive through our network. For example, a question or discussion on PIANOo-desk that does not produce a clear answer may lead to the Tendering Law expert group publishing a vision document.
PIANOo organises meetings, produces publications and works with expert groups chaired by university professors specialising in the field. The PIANOo website is rapidly becoming the public sector's encyclopaedia for procurement and tendering in the Netherlands (see the overview of products and services). Key themes on PIANOo at the moment are market knowledge, the position of procurement in the organisation, innovation-focused procurement, innovative procurement and sustainable procurement.
Market knowledge crucial for the public sector
PIANOo sees market knowledge as an essential element in public sector procurement and tendering. Know the market. The more familiar a contracting authority is with the market, the more effectively it can structure its request. The better it knows the market in which it is looking to buy, the better it can tailor its procurement requirements and judge whether the offerings are in line with the organisation's aims. When you collect market knowledge, you are collecting information. You can do that from your desk, but you will also need to interface with colleagues and companies. PIANOo facilitates this dialogue at regional meetings, market meetings with public and private sector organisations, and at the PIANOo conference. We also produce manuals and checklists and provide special market files on the website.
2594 AC Den Haag
Please e-mail us for a quick response to your questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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