Prior to determining what to buy, and before considering GPP criteria in a procurement procedure, it is worthwhile for public authorities to gain an understanding of the market, in terms of technologies, products and other potential solutions.
Undertaking a preliminary market analysis provides information on the availability of products or services and is useful for informing the type of procurement procedure to adopt (for example, open or restricted procedure, or competitive dialogue) as well as how to best formulate and include GPP requirements into tendering processes.
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.