PIANOo, the Dutch Public Procurement Expertise Centre, was set up to professionalise procurement and tendering in all government departments, with a view to improving efficiency and compliance with the rules. Professional procurement can contribute to successful policy and offers value for taxpayers' money.
As of 1 January 2017 PIANOo is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl). Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.
PIANOo 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. 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.
PIANOo works for and with a network of around 3,500 public procurement and tendering professionals.
- 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).
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 Forum 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. Key themes 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.
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.PIANOo Forum (formerly PIANOo desk) is a private group in the European discussion platform Procurement Forum. In this closed group public procurement professionals can exchange information with colleagues in Dutch. It is also possible to make contact with European procurement professionals outside the PIANOo group.
- TenderNed: Dutch government's online tendering system
All Dutch authorities are obliged to publish their national and European tenders on Tenderned's announcement platform, so businesses can access all public publications from a single webpage. Through TenderNed, all parties can digitally manage all steps throughout the entire tender process. This is determined by the contracting authority.
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.
How can you encourage innovation-focused procurement? How do you use micro-lots or apply the marketplace principle? 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.
Some publications have been translated in English.
- Vision documents
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.