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CONSULTATION ON EUROPEAN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT MARKETS

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Alan Wood today launched a consultation process to identify the barriers faced by British businesses in accessing t...
Alan Wood today launched a consultation process to identify the barriers faced by British businesses in accessing the estimated €1,500bn per year European market in public procurement.

Mr Wood, chief executive of Siemens in the UK and chair of the Engineers Employers Federation economic policy committee, has been asked by the chancellor and the trade and industry secretary to examine the difficulties faced by UK-based firms in competing for public procurement contracts in other European Union countries.

The consultation will run until early April, and Mr Wood will present his findings and recommendations for action later this year.

Launching his consultation, Mr Wood said:

'We want to know which factors help UK suppliers win public contracts in other member states, and what difficulties they encounter. I want to find out how these experiences compare with tendering for public sector contracts in the UK or for private sector contracts in other member states.

'We will look at any specific examples of barriers faced by UK firms and whether there is any unfair discrimination or other factors at work. I will also look at which procurement practices encountered in other member states are helpful or unhelpful'.

Businesses can find a questionnaire and further information about the review on www.woodreview.org

NOTES

The chancellor announced Alan Wood's review of European Public procurement in the 2003 Pre Budget Report in response to representations from industry. The terms of reference for the review can be seen at www.woodreview.org.

Mr Wood is being assisted by a steering group including representatives from the EEF, the CBI, and the GMB union, and officials from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), Treasury and the DTI.

The public procurement market accounts for some 16 per cent of EU GDP. Effective competition in public procurement is essential to the proper functioning of the single market, and public authorities are required to follow single market procurement rules, including principles of equal treatment for all suppliers regardless of nationality, and transparency in contract decisions.

Further advice to companies wishing to contribute to the review is available from the OGC Service Desk on 0845 000 4999 or email servicedesk@ogc.gsi.gov.uk or on http://www.woodreview.org./

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