One of the major novelties in the 2014 EU Procurement Directives was the introduction of a life cycle costing (LCC) approach in the evaluation of the most economically advantageous tender. This cost-effectiveness approach implies that in the evaluation of the price-quality ratio of award criteria all the costs associated to the life cycle of the production and the distribution of the products, including long-term costs borne by the contracting authority and costs imputed to environmental externalities, can be taken into account (Article 68, Directive 2014/24/EU).
The application of this approach however, raises several questions and faces a variety of practical challenges. To avoid distortions of competition, life-cycle considerations must be based on non-discriminatory criteria that can be effectively verified. Where contracting authorities assess the costs using a LCC approach, they shall indicate in the procurement documents the data to be provided by the tenderers and the method which the contracting authority will use to determine the life-cycle costs on the basis of those data. The method must comply with a number of conditions, including to be based on objectively verifiable and non-discriminatory criteria.
Developing such methodologies is effort-intensive, because they must be tailored on specific product/service group or category. Challenges include long supply chains spanning the four continents and the difficulty in assessing – not to say – measuring, non-monetary values like the respect of human dignity or the protection of biodiversity. Developing such methodologies rests on public institutions, including the EU Commission and contracting authorities, possibly through associations and networks to scale up the costs and efforts involved in the exercise. Certifiers, including ISO, also have a role to play. In case of a common EU methodology, the use of LCC becomes mandatory. However, so far the EU has developed only one such methodology in the Clean Vehicles Directive (currently under revision).
The development of such methodologies also requires cooperation between technicians (engineers, supply chain experts etc.) and legal professionals. Whilst the former can tell us what is doable in practice, and how it can be done, the latter must ensure that all legal requirements are met.
This book project aims to contribute to the development of life cycle criteria tools and methodologies for public procurement in the EU. The project is interdisciplinary in nature and therefore we welcome contributions from various fields such as engineering, policy development, management, business and law. Contributors may focus on any of the EU jurisdictions, either providing a comparative perspective or focusing on a single jurisdiction. It is also possible to focusing on general problems or specific sectors or product/service categories. Furthermore, we welcome case studies studying possible drivers for change, legal settings and current business frameworks.
Those tentatively selected to contribute will be invited to a workshop in Oslo on 23rd April 2018, with draft chapters to be submitted to the editors beforehand. Participation at the workshop is not a condition to contribute to the book, but it is strongly encouraged. The workshop is expected to enhance the quality of the contributions, reinforce the cohesive nature of the volume, and contribute to the timeliness of the manuscript.
Abstracts, of maximum 500 words, may be submitted via this registration form.
- Deadline for submission of abstracts: 22 January 2018
- Invitations to contribute to the book and to participate at the Symposium by 20 February 2018
- Deadline for submission of draft chapters: 1st April 2018
Subject to later confirmation, there will be limited funding available to support travel and accommodation for participants to attend the Symposium. Contributors wishing to attend the Symposium are asked to state whether their participation is contingent on travel and accommodation funding.