The Spanish Government Takes A Step Towards The Modernisation Of Public Tenders

The creation of this commission aims to coordinate and supervise the implementation of these innovative criteria between the General State Administration and its bodies in order...
Spain Government, Public Sector
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Keys to Royal Decree 364/2024

1. The creation of an Inter-ministerial Commission

The creation of this commission aims to coordinate and supervise the implementation of these innovative criteria between the General State Administration and its bodies in order to promote innovation in public procurement. The Commission is constituted as a collegiate body attached to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. In particular, it will promote the consideration of innovation in all phases of tendering proceedings, disseminate best administrative practices, and evaluate the techniques and options for promoting innovation in current regulations in order to proactively promote criteria that enable innovative public tenders and, where appropriate, study the need for possible improvements in the regulatory framework for innovative public tenders.

The Interministerial Commission will be chaired by the Secretary General for Innovation and will include committees from the Directorate General for State Assets and the Directorate General for Rationalization and Centralization of Procurement of the Ministry of Finance, as well as representatives from all ministerial departments, and Specific Representatives from the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and AI, the General Secretariat for Inclusion, the Secretary General for Digital Health, the General Secretariat for Infrastructure of the Directorate General for Industry, the Directorate General of Rural Development and Innovation, as well as from ENISA and CDTI.

2. Plan for Innovation in Public Tender

The decree regulates a specific plan that establishes the guidelines and objectives for the inclusion of innovation in public tender, promoting collaboration between the public and private sectors, i.e. the Commission will be able to collaborate with third parties, public and private entities and organizations, inviting them to its meetings with voice but without vote.

Among its functions, the Commission will be responsible for drawing up, reviewing and monitoring the Plan for Innovation in Public Tender , which must be aligned with the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, with the State Plan for Scientific, Technical and Innovation Research, and with the National Public TenderStrategy.

The Plan for Innovation in Public Procurement will determine the products, works, services and supplies in which public authorities will promote public procurement that takes into account innovation parameters, as well as the criteria to be taken into account by contracting authorities in the different phases of the procedure.

Likewise, the Commission will promote the design of information and training actions for the personnel responsible for implementing the Plan, in coordination with the National Institute of Public Administration and other specialized training centres. 

3. Promotion of Innovation

The creation of the Commission highlights the importance of innovation as a key driver of economic growth and national competitiveness. It advocates a strategic use of public tender to incentivise innovation, including aspects such as eco-innovation and social innovation. This will enable the adoption of new technologies and innovative solutions that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public services.

Benefits and objectives of Royal Decree 364/2024

  • Improved Efficiency and Quality of Public Services: Through the procurement of innovative goods and services, the quality and efficiency of the services that the public sector offers and provides to citizens is improved. 
  • Supporting Green Transition and Digitisation: This new standard strongly supports the mainstreaming of innovative solutions aimed at facilitating a just ecological transition as well as promoting the digitisation of the public sector. 
  • Boosting Business Development and Competitiveness: Another objective of Royal Decree 364/2024 is to encourage the participation of innovative companies, especially startups, in public tenders, which can help to boost the economy and foster technological development, since promoting innovation not only improves internal processes, but also generates new opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs that can offer innovative solutions.

Functioning of the Interministerial Commission

For the purpose of technical assistance in the performance of its tasks, the Commission may set up working groups. The composition of these groups shall be based on the principle of a balanced presence of women and men, and their participation shall not give rise to compensation. The Commission shall be convened as often as necessary for the fulfilment of its purposes or when deemed necessary by its Chair, at least once a year. Meetings may be held in person or remotely, and its operating regime shall be in accordance with the provisions of Law 40/2015.

Comment by Osborne Clarke

With this Royal Decree, Spain aligns itself with European guidelines and reinforces its commitment to promoting innovation through public procurement. It is expected to usher in an era of greater efficiency and modernisation in public tender. The incorporation of innovation will be key to meeting current and future challenges, ensuring that public entities can deliver high quality services to citizens.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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