Unlocking the Strategic Use of Public Procurement in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

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Subnational governments carry out more than 60% of total public procurement in OECD countries. As such, public procurement can offer a powerful tool for cities to boost local growth and advance their strategic priorities, ranging from innovation and inclusion to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Bratislava, the most populated and richest municipality in the Slovak Republic, carried out 39% of its expenditures through public procurement in 2019. The COVID-19 crisis has enhanced both the urgency and the opportunity to improve the city's procurement system and to rethink "what" and "how" to procure. In this context, Bratislava is developing new directives to make its procurement processes more efficient. This report offers recommendations on how Bratislava can use public procurement strategically to identify value-for-money solutions, foster competition, and promote sustainable urban development. The report also includes a concrete case study on Bratislava’s public procurement for street lighting, which provides methodological guidance on the analysis of needs, market engagement, and tender design.


Executive summary

Public procurement can offer a powerful tool to stimulate innovation, facilitate the transition to a green and circular economy, support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and promote ethical behaviour and responsible business conduct. In addition, in many cities, the COVID-19 pandemic further increased pressure on local spending and public procurement procedures. This report aims at supporting the city of Bratislava in its efforts to make procurement a catalyst for change in identifying better value-for-money solutions, fostering competition and ensuring sustainable urban development. The report is particularly timely as the city is currently preparing new directives on public procurement, which represent promising steps to enhance its public procurement system. The report also includes a case study on street lighting to support the city in designing the most adequate procurement strategies for improving the quality and expected outcomes of its future integrated system.


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