Published on 08 June 2021
About this good practice
The Polish Public Procurement Office provides life cycle cost calculators (LCC) on its website. The calculators are designed for 3 product groups: computers and monitors, external lighting and traffic signals, interior lighting. It is an initiative to take into account the life cycle and its costs in public procurement. The calculators are a practical tool to facilitate the application of the life cycle criterion (as a criterion for the evaluation of bids) in public procurement, in accordance with the possibilities offered by the national Public Procurement Law. They were developed in the form of simple MS Excel tools and practical user guides. These tools make it possible to include purchase and installation costs, operating costs, service costs and optional environmental costs in the calculations. The application of the life-cycle costs in a public procurement procedure allows not only to assess the economic efficiency of the purchase but also to make an environmentally friendly purchase and reduce the negative impact on the environment. The calculators were developed on behalf of the European Commission (documents in English are available on the website of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment). The versions of calculators in Polish have been developed by the Polish PPO. The main stakeholders and beneficiaries are public bodies which, as contracting authorities, deal with procurement procedures.
The Public Procurement Office translated the operating instructions and developed the Polish version of the calculators based on the English version with its own resources .No additional resources were required.
Evidence of success
The number of views and probable downloads of the LCC calculators from the PPO website (from March 2020 to March 2021) amounted to approximately 300 (based on web analytics). Calculators are free. The PPO does not research the use of calculators by entities and does not have more detailed statistics. Since 2021, the PPO has been promoting calculators as part of a nationwide training course in public procurement (129 people trained in February). The SDGs concerned: Nos.12 and 13.
Potential for learning or transfer
The benefit of this national practice is to promote the use of life cycle methodology in the regions and to encourage local authorities to use it in public procurement. The message is addressed to all public institutions involved in public procurement. It does not require any specific resources or costs, so it is easy to adapt in any conditions. It shows the direction in which current instruments for sustainable regional policies are heading but also popularizes the life cycle methodology. Most importantly, however, the calculators are practical tools designed for specific applications almost immediately. In addition to it calculators expose the "iceberg paradox" in which the bidders not taking into account the costs of use and disposal (e.g. IT products). Low price can bind the customer - preventing him from purchasing modern, energy-saving solutions, therefore they also have awareness-building potential.