The development of public procurement is a joint effort
The annual value of the procurement of products and services by government organisations is approximately six billion euros. Shared good practices ensure that procurement is carried out in a uniform and efficient manner. Finland is a shining example of open administration when it comes to procurement, as well: Each citizen may monitor the use of tax euros and review the background information for procurement with the help of open data.
The State Treasury provides services related to the direction, development and monitoring, among others, of procurement primarily to government agencies. Cooperation with other shared government service providers, such as Hansel and Palkeet, is key. If you work with public procurement in central government, don’t hesitate to find out more about the networks connected to government procurement and get involved. You can find interesting networks that may be of great use to you, too, in the service descriptions and on the tabs.
Government procurement is managed in networked cooperation, which covers e.g. agency experts, group operators as well as product and service providers.
In terms of euros spent, the most significant suppliers are governmental service providers. Shared government services are provided by, for example:
Corporate actors maintain various themed networks in connection with procurement, knowledge-based management, competence development or communications.
In addition to this, Finnish procurement experts are involved in numerous international networks related to the digitalisation of government procurement, electronic procurement communication and the development of procurement.
The development portfolio is compiled and maintained with the help of the situation picture and networked operations. It is assessed, prioritised and resourced in the procurement process steering group, where corporate actors are represented. Government procurement is used to produce a roadmap for the coming years in cooperation with other interest groups based on the architecture model. This improves the prerequisites for managing and monitoring development and makes development work visible in the project portfolio.
The first roadmap based on the development portfolio will be published in the material bank (see tabs) in 2019.
The government is an attractive contract party, because the government is an open, fair and professional partner. Unnecessary bureaucracy has been removed from government procurement, and the requisition process can already be implemented smoothly.
The government offers its suppliers training, communication and event services as part of long-term cooperation. As a cooperation partner, the government is interested in supplier viewpoints and development needs in relation to government procurement. Special focus is placed on implementing procurement in a responsible manner and in sufficiently small sections, so that small and medium-sized companies have better prerequisites to participate in competitive tendering.
The task of the State Treasury is to provide instructions and guidance to agencies concerning smooth supplier cooperation and its development. Supplier cooperation covers the following questions, for example:
Thanks to the Handi programme for the digitalisation of government procurement processes, the central government’s procurement processes are more uniform and streamlined than before. Procurement is now managed more professionally and the prerequisites for information management have improved. The procurement process was developed in its entirety from identifying the procurement needs to the order, payment and reporting.
In 2020, government procurement is:
The procurement digitalisation implementation programme is divided into approximately ten projects and smaller task areas. The most significant results of the implementation project include:
Several networks comprising procurement professionals as well as shared government service providers have been involved in digitising procurement. The Handi programme was produced by more than one hundred public procurement professionals, mainly from government procurement.
For more information, visit handi.fi >
Public procurement is the topic of many discussions in different target groups in seminars and on social media, for example. In order to ensure that the financial and procurement professionals in central government are able to participate in this discussion and have an impact in their own field of expertise through communication, they are offered training in small groups.
In a specialised branch such as public procurement, a small following is enough to generate shares, retweets and comments on social media, which will in turn expand the exposure of the discussion significantly. Themes like responsibility and SMEs are likely to generate the liveliest discussion.
The development path of experts’ communication skills focuses on the following areas:
In government procurement, the expertise of the procurement experts’ network is improved by centralising operations and increasing training, for example.
As part of the Handi programme, an extensive training entity on the requisition process has been designed for central government financial and procurement professionals. The training entity, dubbed Hankinta 2020, is the first online training programme provided by government procurement, where the procurement process is examined as a whole from start to finish.
Hankinta 2020 covers seven online courses, six of which have been published thus far. The training entity has been divided into courses based on the phases of the requisition process.
1. Managing procurement as part of managing operations
2. Planning procurement
3. Preparing procurement and implementing competitive tendering
4. Contract management
6. Expenditure handling and payment
7. Reporting and analysis
The State Treasury produces a situational picture of government procurement as a whole each quarter. It contains information on process functionality, development needs, the contract base and suppliers, for example. The first situational picture will be published in 2019.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel – this is also true for the development of procurement. This is why we are producing a straightforward instrument for self-assessment by government procurement. The results from the assessment instrument are used to produce reference data to support public procurement development.
The first results will be available sometime during 2019.
Networking with other agencies and experts is a crucial part of procurement professionals’ work. This enables the sharing of lessons learned from developing procurement and best practices from similar operating environments.
Government procurement experts are encouraged to network in themed monthly workshops, for example. The workshops have focused on themes such as responsibility and electronic competitive tendering. In 2019, the typical reason for procurement experts to seek best practices is the implementation of the Handi service. The ordering and invoice processing solution will be adopted by all accounting units by the end of 2019. Palkeet is in charge of the project.
The same issues often surface when developing procurement:
Please also see instructions concerning the best practices of the ‘Hankinnasta maksuun’ (From procurement to purchase) process produced by the State Treasury. The instruction will help accounting units in many development areas of the operation.
Good practices in the ‘From procurement to payment’ process >
A Finnish glossary of more than one hundred procurement terms is available at Handi.fi/sanasto. There you can search for terminology used in Finnish public procurement and check definitions.
Go to the procurement glossary (in Finnish)
Julkisten hankintojen neuvontayksikkö (JHNY) (the public procurement advice unit) serves procurement units in matters related to public procurement. The advice unit maintains the hankinnat.fi (in Finnish) and upphandling.fi (in Swedish) websites.
Advice services for suppliers are provided by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, for example. The purpose of procurement advice services is to
Hankinta-Suomi (Procurement Finland) promotes the social impact of funds used in public procurement and the sustainability of public finances. The strategic public procurement forum brings together representatives of both public procurement and municipal procurement. As part of the preparation of the national procurement strategy and within the framework of network-like co-operation, procurement professionals have mapped the current state of Finnish public procurement, worked on key development targets and prepared proposals for measures, which have been published as a comprehensive situation report.
The first item on the agenda is to determine a shared requisition strategy for public procurement. Public procurement is an important means of achieving both the government’s program and the municipalities’ strategic goals. The objectives include:
For more information > (in Finnish)
Procurement carried out by government agencies is published as open data at avoindata.fi. Material produced by Hansel contains all of the purchase invoices related to government activities since the beginning of 2016. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service, the Finnish Border Guard, the National Police Board of Finland and the Administrative branch of the Ministry of Defence, whose procurement is not included in the material, make up the exception.
The Tutkihankintoja.fi service, which illustrates the same data in a more visual, user-friendly manner, was also established as part of the implementation programme of the digitalisation of procurement.
Government purchase invoices at avoindata.fi
Opening up the data is hoped to lead to new ways of using information and utilising data. In addition to this, general knowledge about government procurement will increase the citizens’ understanding of central government and raise interest in issues of public utility.
Government procurement is the subject of lively conversation on social media. We especially recommend the hashtags
and the following Twitter profiles: