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Dialogue with the market

When determining what to buy and before applying GPP criteria in a procurement procedure, it is helpful for purchasers to understand the market.

Market analysis provides information on the availability of products or services which meet the GPP criteria a public authority wishes to apply, allowing the best procurement approach to be determined.

A dialogue with market parties before the procurement process begins can help identify innovative solutions which the public authority may not have been aware of. It can also assist the market in meeting the criteria which will be applied in the procurement process, by providing information about the public authority’s expected requirements.

The result of a tender procedure can be greatly improved when market parties are informed sufficiently far in advance about the environmental requirements public authorities intend to set. One way of initiating such a dialogue is by publication of a Prior Information Notice (PIN) in the Official Journal, in which the public authority outlines its requirements and describes the consultation process.

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) and the Competitive Dialogue procedure introduced under Directive 2004/18/EC also offer opportunities for public authorities to engage in market dialogue.

A 2007 Commission Communication provides details of how PCP can be conducted.

An Explanatory Note on the Competitive Dialogue procedure was published in 2005.

For more information on the legal framework for market consultation, and detailed guidance, consult Driving energy efficient innovation through procurement - A practical guide for public authorities.