The Spanish Public Sector Contract Law 9/2017, which came into force in March 2018, aims to provide greater transparency, better value for money, and increased economic rationality of public funds. It considers that public purchase processes should include qualitative, environmental, social and innovative aspects which aim to “award criteria to obtain the highest quality works, supplies and services”.
As a way of demonstrating compliance to these aspects, it includes specific terms for using the technical standards and for accredited conformity inspectors in several of its articles (in particular, 93, 94, 124, 125, 126, 127 and 128).
Therefore to make it easier for contracting authorities to fully use technical standards and accreditation in the purchasing processes, the Spanish Standardization Association UNE and the National Accreditation Body ENAC have put together the “Guide to using standards and accreditation in public procurement” (“Guía para el uso de las normas y la acreditación en la contratación pública”).
It is a practical publication, which offers guidelines and tips on how to search for rules applicable to an activity, how to cite them properly, and how to refer to accreditation in different cases as well as guiding contracting authorities in the aspects that must be taken into account when assessing whether these requirements are adequately met by those placing tenders.
The publication includes a set of annexes with specific examples of standard and accreditation references, as well as information on the role of standardisation and accreditation from a more global perspective.