In Social Procurement, Public Procurement


Year: 2019
Published in: Sustainability
Cited as: Mendoza Jiménez, J.; Hernández López, M.; Franco Escobar, S.E. Sustainable Public Procurement: From Law to Practice. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6388.


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This study aims to propose actions to improve the implementation of sustainable public procurement by identifying the problems perceived by public servants and social economy entities. Two types of questionnaires were sent to organizations in Spain and Europe and 217 complete answers were received (152 from the public sector and 65 from the social entities). In addition, 20 semi-structured personal interviews were conducted by phone with managers of social enterprises and four interviews, also by phone, were carried out with relevant people from the public sector. The results of the surveys and the interviews were structured using the analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), which was considered consistent with the strategic nature of public procurement. The perceived opportunities for the public sector focus on more efficient use of public resources and improvement of reputation and social equality. For the social entities, more participation in procurement could lead to less dependency on public funds and more visibility. The obstacles for the public sector are related to lack of training and internal resistance to change, as well as, in the case of social entities, to their small size and the tensions with their social object that might derive from bigger competition. The proposed activities focus on two objectives, more training to increase knowledge from the public sector and the readiness of social entities. It is concluded that it is necessary to establish channels of communications between the two groups to avoid possible inefficiencies.