Monday, 30 March 2015

Procurement tennis pauses for Easter break

Dr Pedro Telles and I are pausing procurement tennis we are playing for Easter break. We will resume our daily commentary of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 on 8 April 2015. So far, we are surprised with the number of things we agreed and disagreed on regarding the 29 regulations we have covered so far. There are another 93 ahead of us, so we will have to refill our energies and get ready for that. We hope you will rejoin us after the hiatus. Happy Easter.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Public procurement in the CJEU's Annual Report 2014 Statistics

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has published the full version of its 2014 Annual Report, which allows for an update of the statistics available two years ago (here). The 2014 report offers interesting data about the continued relevance of public procurement in the overall activities of the Court, as well as the evolution of the backlog in the docket, which seems to be needing attention at the highest level. I provide the new data first, both for the CJEU and the GC, and then update the time series I first prepared in 2012.

CJEU 2014 data

In 2014, the CJEU opened 21 new cases on public procurement (3.42% of all new cases), of which 20 were references for a preliminary ruling and the other case was an appeal. It adopted 13 decisions in public procurement cases (11 Judgments and 2 Orders) during the same period (which represent 2.08% of all cases closed). This clearly indicates that the CJEU has accumulated a (further) backlog of around 50% of the 2014 new procurement cases.

A cursory search on CURIA's case finder shows 9 pending procurement cases (below), which would track the 2014 mismatch (although two of them are 2015 cases)--but only assuming there was no backlog of procurement cases at the beginning of that year, which I do not think is correct (see below for some conjectures). In any case, more transparency on the backlog of cases would be desirable.

GC 2014 data

In 2014, the GC opened 17 new cases on public procurement, and it issued 18 decisions (16 Judgments and 2 Orders). The GC is managing to keep the number of pending cases stable at around 35. The fact that the GC publishes explicit statistics on pending cases by subject matter makes things easier.

Time series

The following is an update of the time series I prepared in 2012. Just like then, please note that unfortunately, prior to 2010, the data for the CJEU does not include a separate category for public procurement cases (they were likely to be classified under approximation of laws, or under the relevant fundamental freedom). Therefore, the actual numbers may be higher than the available statistics show but, in my view, the general trends remain clear: backlog is increasing and now reaches about 75 cases. As I mentioned above, more transparency (or a correction of incorrect classification of cases, if there is any) would be much desirable.