Estonian experts help create international security procurement network ({{commentsTotal}})

The iProcureNet consortium.
The iProcureNet consortium. Source: Estonian Police and Border Guard Board / iProcureNet

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and the University of Tartu will take part in an international project to help establish a joint procurement network for internal security products and services.

The project, called iProcureNet, started in May and is funded by the European Commission. The network makes it possible for public agencies from different countries to carry out cross-border joint procurement.

The project has 15 partners from 11 European countries, including Estonia, Bulgaria, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania, Portugal, France, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. The work will involve contracting authorities, legal and innovation experts, researchers and users.

According to Marine Thevenin, representative of the French Ministry of Interior, the joint procurement of security solutions will help find the best price and create a common European market in the field of security.

Internal security procurements are complex. For example, they may include orders of body armour, bomb detection robots or other specific technical equipment, none of which are regular consumer goods. "On the other hand, countries have very similar needs and, for instance, the Finnish and Estonian Police could perfectly procure security products jointly in the future," said Hannes Järvine, Lead Law Enforcement Officer of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.

The Police and Border Guard Board is in charge of the project feasibility analysis and preparing recommendations.

A team led by Associate Professor Mari Ann Simovart at University of Tartu's School of Law will analyse the project from the legal side and work out joint procurement methods. "Although the law already allows countries to jointly procure products and services, there are no specific instructions or reliable methods for actually conducting cross-border procurement in such a sensitive and complex field as internal security," Simovart said. 

There are also many issues which need a legal solution. "For example, we need to consider which law should be applied at each stage, how to conduct cooperation from the preparation of public procurement to the delivery of the order, and what the main legal risks are in joint procurement, for instance, in the case of confidential procurement," Simovart explained.

The project will also analyze innovation opportunities. The project is funded by Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation. 

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Editor: Helen Wright



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