Public Procurement in the Netherlands

The Dutch 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.

Procurement: key to quality of service provision

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)
  • competition
  • innovation (sustainability)
  • value for taxpayers' money

Legal framework

The Public Procurement Act (Aanbestedingswet 2012), which entered into force on 1 April 2013, provides a general legal framework for public procurement regulations and implements the European public procurement Directives:

  • Directive 2004/18 on the co-ordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts (Consolidated Public Sector Directive).
  • Directive 2004/17 coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (Utilities Directive).
  • Directive 2007/66/EC amending Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC with regard to improving the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts (Public Contracts Review Procedures Directive).

The Public Procurement Act is further detailed in the Public Procurement Decree (Aanbestedingsbesluit) and the Proportionality Guide (Proportionaliteitsgids). Dutch public procurement law recognises the general principles of public procurement law (non-discrimination, transparency and proportionality).

Sustainable Procurement

The Dutch government, together with regional and local authorities, wants to stimulate the market for sustainable products. Sustainable public procurement means focussing on the environmental and social impact of procurement as well as the price of the products, services or works in question. The Dutch government have developed criteria and practical instruments to implement Sustainable Procurement within the organisation. PIANOo provides the information mentioned above.

Further details: Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP)


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. PIANOo brings procurement and tendering experts together, pools knowledge and experience and provides advice and practical tips. The Expertise Centre also fosters dialogue between public contracting authorities and private sector companies. PIANOo is part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Further details: About PIANOo


TenderNed is the 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. TenderNed is a certified supplier of the European publication platform Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). TenderNed is a part of PIANOo.