Strategies to strengthen socially responsible public procurement practices in German municipalities: a mapping exercise

Strategies to strengthen socially responsible public procurement practices in German municipalities: a mapping exercise

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Müngersdorff, Maximilian / Tim Stoffel
Discussion Paper 8/2020

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-96021-119-8
DOI: 10.23661/dp8.2020
Price: 6 €

Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP) is a tool to use the market power of the public sector to trigger private companies to provide socially responsible products and services. In this sense, SRPP contributes to achieving SDG 12 of the Agenda 2030 (“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”). However, while regulations at EU level and within the member states encourage SRPP, German municipalities lack effective implementation of social criteria in their tenders. This gap seriously decreases the triggering effect of the country’s procurement expenditures of which municipalities account for more than 50 per cent. By triangulating interview data with secondary literature, this paper identifies success factors and triggers for the introduction and consolidation of SRPP practices in German municipalities. Our research shows that there is not one gold standard of implementing SRPP in a municipality (as suggested by most existing toolboxes and handbooks on the topic). Rather, our paper presents a compilation of various different entry points from which practitioners may embark on fitting pathways. Beyond this, we have translated the most crucial success factors and triggers into nine recommendations for political action, for example, with regard to clear and ambitious regulations; measures to ensure broad support for SRPP within the municipal administration; and approaches for a more strategic procurement management. Our research also highlights the role played by individuals, that is, the importance of personal commitment for successful implementation of SRPP. This finding, however, is problematic when it comes to transferring and upscaling good practices. To reach a high level of broad and ambitious SRPP action, the balance between individual, regulatory and institutional measures has to change for the benefit of the latter two.

About the authors

Müngersdorff, Maximilian

Social Scientist

Müngersdorff

Stoffel, Tim

Political Scientist

Stoffel

Further experts

Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist 

Baumann, Max-Otto

Political Science 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Brehm, Johannes

Economy 

Breuer, Anita

Political Scientist 

Dick, Eva

Sociologist and Spatial Planner 

El-Haddad, Amirah

Economy 

Götze, Jacqueline

Political Scientist 

Hackenesch, Christine

Political Science 

Haldenwang, Christian von

Political Scientist 

Hilbrich, Sören

Economy 

Houdret, Annabelle

Political Scientist 

Hägele, Ramona

Political Scientist 

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Environmental Researcher 

Janus, Heiner

Political Science 

Keijzer, Niels

Social Science 

Kloke-Lesch, Adolf

Urban and regional planner 

Koch, Svea

Social Science 

Kunz, Yvonne

Geography 

Laudage, Sabine

Economy 

Leininger, Julia

Political Scientist 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Mehl, Regine

Political Science 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Scientist 

Roll, Michael

Sociology 

Scholz, Imme

Sociologist 

Schwachula, Anna

Sociology 

Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist 

Sturm, Janina

Economist and political scientist 

Vogel, Johanna

International Cultural Economy 

Wehrmann, Dorothea

Sociology 

Weinlich, Silke

Political Science