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Public Procurement in Estonia

Estonia: Promoting the Uptake of Strategic Public Procurement in Estonia through Professionalising the Public Procurement Workforce

Public procurement can make a positive contribution to economic, environmental and social progress, if used strategically. The strategic use of public procurement, however, requires skilled public procurement workforce and capable institutions (alongside with other enablers).

In Estonia, public procurement accounted for 12% as a share of GDP and 28% as a percentage of total general government expenditures in 2021. Estonia widely recognises public procurement as a strategic tool to support the green and digital transition and to contribute to social sustainability. However, the uptake of strategic public procurement is still limited in the country: in 2021, only 5.5% of the total procurement was considered as green public procurement, 0.14% as socially responsible procurement, and 0.13% as innovation procurement. As the EU Single Market Scoreboard shows, Estonia performs around the EU average with respect to public procurement. Several challenges have been observed. For instance, there is a relatively high share of non-competitive procedures and contracts awarded based on tender procedures with a single bidder. Furthermore, there is a high dependence on price as the award criterion for public procurement whereas more qualitative criteria could be applied. This weaker performance of the public procurement system is mainly attributable to the limited capability of the public procurement workforce.

The Ministry of Finance of Estonia and the European Commission have called upon the OECD to provide technical support to Estonia in addressing these challenges. Funded by DG REFORM, the key objective of this Project is to deliver comprehensive strategies and hands-on technical guidance to the Government of Estonia, the Estonian contracting authorities and economic operators on how they can reinforce their administrative capacity to promote the uptake of strategic public procurement through professionalising the public procurement workforce

Fast Facts

©Marvdrock/Nounproject 

Country: Estonia

©Adrien Coquet/The noun project Timeframe: September 2023 – August 2025
©Shashank Singh/ The Noun project

Counterparts:

  • Ministry of Finance, Estonia
  • European Commission (DG REFORM)
©The Icon Hero/Noun Project

Areas of focus:

List of Deliverables

  • Diagnostic report on the use of strategic procurement and the current state of public procurement professionalisation initiatives in Estonia
  • Analytical report on developing a competency model for the public procurement workforce and on the possibility of establishing a national public procurement certification framework
  • Recommendations on how to increase the uptake of strategic public procurement and on the professionalisation of the public procurement workforce
  • Training modules (materials) related to the competency framework and strategic public procurement
  • Tools and manuals for the application of strategic public procurement

Timeline

  • 25 September 2023: Kick-off meeting of the project
  • 25 September 2023: Opening conference
  • September 2023 – August 2024: Mapping the current state of using strategic procurement and the current state of public procurement professionalisation initiatives in Estonia and drafting the diagnostic report
  • September 2023 – August 2024: Analytical report on developing a competency model for the public procurement workforce
  • August 2024 – September 2024: Recommendations on how to increase the uptake of strategic public procurement and on the professionalisation of the public procurement workforce …
  • May 2024 – February 2025: Training modules (materials) related to the competency framework and strategic public procurement
  • May 2024 – July 2025: Developing tools and manuals for the application of strategic public procurement including pilots
  • August 2025: Closing conference to disseminate the main findings and recommendations of the Project and contribute to raising awareness on the strategic use of public procurement

Content of the project

The Project will support the authorities in Estonia to increase the uptake of public procurement (including improved access for SMEs) through the professionalisation of public procurement.

The project will be comprised of five main outputs as follows:

  1. Diagnostic report on the use of strategic procurement and the current state of public procurement professionalisation initiatives in Estonia:
    In particular, the report will assess the use of strategic public procurement and the current state of public procurement professionalisation initiatives from regulatory, operational, organisational and technical viewpoints, based on the benchmarking of Estonia against international good practices.

  2. Analytical report on developing a competency model for the public procurement workforce and on the possibility of establishing a national public procurement certification framework:
    As part of this output, the OECD team will carry out an assessment of the procurement competencies of the Estonian workforce by applying the ProcurCompEU competency framework. Based on results, the OECD will develop a proposal for establishing a certification framework for procurement officials.

  3. Recommendations on how to increase the uptake of strategic public procurement and on the professionalisation of the public procurement workforce:
    This output draws on challenges and needs identified throughout the course of the project to develop targeted recommendations on enhancing the use of strategic public procurement. An action plan will accompany the recommendations, including outcomes, outcome level indicators, timeline for implementation and specific actors for each activity.

  4. Training modules (materials) related to the competency framework and strategic public procurement, including capacity-building workshops

  5. Tools and manuals for the application of strategic public procurement
    In addition to the development of tools and manuals, up to three pilot participants will be selected to receive technical assistance and test the developed guidance materials.

Outputs and resources

 Cover Recommendation Public Procurement

 


OECD Recommendation on Public Procurement

   
 Cover - Professionalising the public procurement workforce

 


OECD (2023), "Professionalising the public procurement workforce: A review of current initiatives and challenges"

   
 Cover - ProcurcompEu in a nutshell

 


European Commission, ProcurCompEU – the European competency framework for public procurement professionals

   
 Cover - Mainstreaming strategic public procurement to advance regional development

 


OECD (2021) Mainstreaming strategic public procurement to advance regional development