Undertanding OJEU: The Eurovision of Public Procurement

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Undertanding OJEU

Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the grand stage of public procurement – the OJEU. In this thrilling spectacle, businesses from across the European Union and quite a few beyond compete to find a public OJEU tender, win lucrative contracts, dazzle their clients, and secure their place in the procurement hall of fame. Whether it lasts or not is a separate case.

Understanding OJEU procurement procedures

So, grab your popcorn and reading glasses if you need any, and buckle up so we can get into the weeds of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) process.

Act I: The Basics – What on Earth is OJEU?

What on Earth is OJEU

The OJEU is the European Union’s official gazette, where all tenders for public contracts above a certain value must be published. Think of it as the classifieds section of a newspaper, but with much higher stakes and many more acronyms, they don’t go unwarranted either.

The goal of the OJEU process is to ensure transparency, fairness, and equal opportunities for businesses in the EU’s public procurement market, and this has taken a painstaking amount of years to accomplish, so don’t just go mad at large governing bodies just yet.

Act II: A Lingo-tastic Journey

A Lingo-tastic Journey

To navigate the OJEU process successfully, you’ll need to become fluent in “procure speak” – the unique language of public procurement. Here are a few key terms to get you started so you don’t get lost the moment you take your first step:

Tender: No, we’re not talking about chicken nuggets here. Put as simply as possible, a tender is a formal offer submitted by a business to supply goods or services to an organisation.

Contract Notice: This is the official announcement of a tender opportunity published in the OJEU and is like an invitation to the procurement party.

Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ): This is a screening tool used to assess a company’s suitability for a particular contract.

Invitation to Tender (ITT): This is the formal invitation to submit a tender sent to shortlisted foreign companies after the PQQ stage.

Act III: The Rules of Engagement

The Rules of Engagement

Not all contracts are subject to the OJEU process – only those that exceed certain financial thresholds. These thresholds vary depending on the type of contract (e.g., supplies, services, or works) and the organisation involved (e.g., central government, local authorities, or utilities). Here’s a quick breakdown of the current thresholds:

Supplies & Services:

Central Government: €139,000

Other Public Sector Bodies: €214,000

Works: €5,350,000

If a contract’s value is below these thresholds, it doesn’t need to be published in the OJEU. However, it may still be subject to national procurement rules, so don’t let your guard down just yet!

Act IV: The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game

Of course, next, you must be wondering how long does the OJEU process take? Well, it’s not exactly a sprint but a bit more like a marathon. The entire process, from the publication of the Contract Notice to the award of the contract, can take anywhere from several months to over a year.

However, before you blow a fuse, hear us out, and the reasoning for this is that with a bit of patience, perseverance, and a healthy dose of manifestation, you’ll make it to the finish line.

Act V: The Spoils of Victory

Winning an OJEU contract can be a game-changer (no, not the game show) for your business as not only do you get to work on high-profile projects and rub those extremely comfortable padded shoulders with the who’s who of the public sector, but you also benefit from long-term revenue streams and increased credibility in the marketplace.

To win this coveted prize is all about showcasing your expertise, demonstrating value for making money, and adhering to the strict rules and regulations of the OJEU process, and, of course, a little bit of luck never hurts, either!

There you have it – the OJEU process, in all its glitz and glamour despite the dizziness in the beginning, is a right of passage, you might presume, and while the world of public procurement may not be as exciting as Eurovision, with its sequins, pyrotechnics, and catchy tunes, it’s still a thrilling adventure that can propel your successful  business to new heights. So, go forth and conquer the OJEU stage – and may the best tender win!