The strategic meaning of public procurement has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic when the vitality of the economy must be safeguarded and companies up and running. In this situation, the public procurement units are strategically in very important position and they can support the regional and national economy and business with their procurement actions, including the ones related to innovation. This attitude towards public procurement and innovation public procurement (IPP) can be witnessed in Finland, which is one of the partner countries in iBuy project.
The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities together with Entrepreneurs of Finland have given guidance how the public procurers should react to the Covid-19 pandemic in Finland. Briefly put, the message was to speed up rather than postpone the public procurements. The last option would be to cancel all public procurement activities. The Covid-19 pandemic requires versatile methods, e.g. allowing partial offers or accelerated procedures, flexibility in contracts and in procedural provisions, therefore, the value of cooperation between public procurement units and companies is more essential than ever before.
Despite the fact that the market dialogue events are cancelled or postponed, the public procurers can still send informative materials related to the procurement and market dialogue process to the market representatives i.e. companies. There is no reason to cancel dialogue because market dialogues are fairly easy to organise by using digital meeting tools, too. This gives a green light for all sorts of procurement, including IPPs that can tackle the pandemic directly.
In general, the pandemic puts much pressure on the public procurements and their strategic role in the public sector, however, there is no need to stress out too much as it can affect the end results.