Public procurement is the purchase of goods, services and public rnworks by governments and public utilities. It has a direct impact on thern daily lives of European citizens, on employment conditions, health and rnthe social inclusion of disadvantaged or discriminated groups, includingrn persons with disabilities. Read our presentation on public procurement (add link)
Public procurement contracts have an important economic role in many sectors, as they effect on:
- Public transport
- Infrastructure works
- Built environment
- Urban planning
- Services (in schools, hospitals, ministries…)
- Equipment (computers, furniture, etc) in public offices
- Water supplies
- Waste treatment
The European Union has the responsibility to define the award rules of public procurement contracts that must be applied in all EU Member States by public authorities.
We engage with the European Parliament and contribute to the revision of legislation to ensure it supports and reinforces the provisions in favour of persons with disabilities proposed by the European Commission.
In January 2014 the EU adopted a new Directive on Public Procurement. Several provisions refer to persons with disabilities.
- The new award criteria for the most advantageous economic tenders include specific references to accessibility for persons with disabilities and design for all users as part of the quality of a tender.
- Accessibility and design for all users’ criteria become an obligation when drawing up technical specifications for all goods and services that are intended to be used by the public or staff.
- Public authorities can include employing persons with disabilities as a condition to award a contract.
- The provision on reserved contract has been amended to go beyond sheltered workshops, and sheltered employment programmes and include economic operators that are aimed at the social and professional integration of disabled persons and disadvantaged persons which employ at least 30% of disabled or disadvantaged persons.
These rules will contribute to changing practices both in the private and public sector with regard to persons with disabilities and will have a considerable impact also at the economic level.