Are UK, France and Germany Having a Competition Crisis?

January 31, 2021
Procurement

We recently completed a study of European government procurement changes in the three years up to and including 2020, to assess the impacts of Covid.

In the process of our work, one area of focus has been a year on year calculation of the number of bids per tender, across all Europe. Analysing the data has highlighted a marked drop in the number of bids in many Western European countries.

The below visualisation is a compilation of all available records by country by year and shows the average number of bidders. The data shows that some countries are becoming more competitive, such as Ireland, Lithuania and Sweden, however, many major western European economies have become progressively less competitive with fewer bidders per tender.

This is particularly noticeable in large western markets. France has seen a -57% bids per tender, Germany shows a reduction of -51% bids per tender. Not far behind is the UK with -48% bids per tender.

What’s interesting is, the pandemic does not appear to have caused this effect, the pattern had formed for all of these countries before 2020. Is there a competition crisis happening in these countries?

Average bidders per contract

 

In all three countries the decline in bidders was a well established trend before the Covid crisis hit, so what reasons could be behind these declines?

Is there a trend toward directly award contracts, or are unpublished tender opportunities on the increase? Either reason is cause for concern.

The links between transparency and increased completion in public procurement are well established. The Open Contracting Data Standard provides a framework for governments, to disclose data and documents at all stages of the procurement process.

While the extenuating circumstances of Covid have provided a rational for expedited process and increase in direct award in 2020, the table clearly shows this downward trend was well established prior the pandemic, and cause for concern.

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss with us our research projects or our procurement data products and services.

August 3, 2021

New Carbon Reporting To Impact 1,000 Suppliers

New rules to help reduce CO2 in public contracting show that at least 720 suppliers will be required to provide a detailed...
August 3, 2021

Trade, Policy And Procurement Meet Again.

The UK's Trade and Agriculture Commission has published its final report, along with twenty-two recommendations, one of which is to direct the...
August 3, 2021

McGowan Government Enhances Aboriginal Procurement Policy

In 2018, Western Australian Labour Premier Mark McGowan introduced a landmark Aboriginal Procurement policy. The objective of the policy was to improve...
August 3, 2021

Are Trade Agencies Becoming More Like Hedge Funds?

Trade promotion, where a country promotes its companies and products to be bought by another, has a certain image. One imagines suave...
August 3, 2021

Meeting The Research Challenge

Our clients expect us to answer tough questions. Questions like, "what's the total value of public contracting worldwide?" or, "who's the leading...
August 3, 2021

US Consults On Social Procurement

The US Government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has requested submissions on the "methods and leading practices" to assess whether agencies'...
August 3, 2021

Harnessing Procurement To Tackle Climate Change

As experts in procurement and open data, we are pleased to see the recent announcement that global confectionery giant Mars is harnessing...
June 29, 2021

Western Australian Govt Rolls Out New Procurement Process.

We're always pleased to see governments reviewing their procurement processes with a view to greater transparency. The Western Australian Government has recently...
June 9, 2021

Commit To Net Zero To Win Government Contracts.

....So says the Cabinet Office, with new measures released on World Environment Day that will require businesses to publish clear and credible...
June 2, 2021

Major Procurement Project For Inverness Castle

This week sees Highland Council publish the main construction and refurbishment tenders for the Inverness Castle Transformation project, through Public Contracts Scotland...
May 27, 2021

Six Considerations When Marketing To Governments.

We might say marketing to the government is similar to marketing to any other target market, particularly another B2B target market. And...
May 17, 2021

Data Mastery.

It's easy to say that you're a 'world leading' enterprise. It's much harder to back it up. But we genuinely believe that...
May 4, 2021

Recommendations For Tackling Gender Disparity For Governments

Clearly, the UK Government is a leader in the field of open data and transparency: it is this commitment to transparency as...
June 2, 2021

Does Government Business Correlate To Gender Disparity?

As part of our Procuring Inequality report, we've analysed whether winning government business equates to a gender pay disparity. By linking gender...
May 5, 2021

The Worst Performing Suppliers To Government In The Gender Pay Divide.

As our analysis of the gender pay gap within strategic suppliers to government from our Procuring Inequality report, showed a broad overlap...

Newsletter

Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories

Search

Scroll to Top