PPRC research in opinions section Dutch magazine Cobouw

The Public Procurement Research Centre (PPRC) has started publicizing results of PPRC research to the broader public through the opinions section of Dutch magazine Cobouw every two weeks, with the first contribution appearing on the 28th of August. The first article, on the usage of assessment criteria in procurement, was written by Elisabetta Manunza (Utrecht University) and Jan Telgen (University of Twente), and can be read on the Cobouw website (in Dutch).

Other planned articles will deal with topics such as insourcing and public cooperation, procurement and corruption, exclusion of applicants who have violated human rights norms, social procurement, procurement in healthcare, etc.



VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland recommend PPRC research to Dutch Minister

PPRC-blauwThe Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the largest representative organisation for SMEs in the Netherlands, the Royal Association MKB-Nederland (MKB NL), have expressed great concerns in relation to the recent Dutch government policy, which prefers governmental performance of services instead of external performance of market parties. Amongst others, cleaning-, transport-, security-, and courier services are affected by this policy.

VNO-NCW and MKB-NL raise this issue in a letter of 23 June to the Algemene Commissie voor Wonen en Rijksdienst (Committee on Housing and the Central Government Sector) of the Dutch Parliament. According to them, the market as a performer of services is usually able to provide the most efficient solution.  However, the current legal framework does not oblige the government to take cost-benefit analysis and the effectiveness of performance into consideration when deciding upon public service delivery. For this reason, VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland advocate the introduction of a legal control mechanism that provides market parties with an opportunity to challenge the legality and effectiveness of a decision to insource a service.

These representative organizations explicitly refer to research by the Public Procurement Research Centre (a cooperation between Utrecht University and the University of Twente, which is integrated in the RENFORCE research group in Utrecht) and call on the Minister to involve the PPRC in the development of a new legal insourcing regime. Professor Elisabetta Manunza already proposed this in her inaugural lecture “Over grenzen. Van verplichtingen voor de overheid naar rechten voor burgers” (Beyond borders. From obligations for the government to rights for citizens) and has regularly published on this topic in the subsequent years. In her research, she compares the desired system with the already existing US Fair Act system (Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act 1999). Willem Janssen, who is writing his PhD thesis on this subject, will continue research into the US system for several months at The George Washington University from September onwards. The full letter can be found here (in Dutch).



Frans Pennings will receive an honorary doctoral degree of the University of Ghotenburg

Frans PenningsProfessor of Labour Law and Social Security Law Frans Pennings will receive an honorary doctoral degree from the Swedish University of Ghotenburg.

Pennings has written a substantial amount of articles and books on international and European labour law and social security law. Furthermore, he is an editor of the peer-reviewed European Journal of Social Security. In addition to these activities he was one of the applicants of the international KP-7 Project on European Citizenship that received authorization in 2013. Alongside Professor Janneke Plantenga (Utrecht School of Economics), Pennings is applicant and program leader of the research program regarding life course arrangements. He was a doctoral supervisor of ten PhD students, whom mostly conducted research on either European or international issues. In the past three years he has been a visiting Professor at the University of Ghotenburg.

The honorary degree will be awarded on the 24th of October 2014.



Paper presentation Anna Gerbrandy on conference of Geosciences Faculty





On the 27th and 28th of August 2014 the Faculty of Geosciences of Utrecht University will host the multidisciplinary ‘5th International Sustainability Transitions Conference’. RENFORCE researcher Anna Gerbrandy will present a paper on the role of national competition authorities in the transition to a sustainable society.



Ewoud Hondius will receive an honorary degree of the University of Edinburgh

On the 2nd of Juli 2014 the University of Edinburgh will award an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws to prof. Ewoud Hondius, professor of European Private Law at the University of Utrecht, and vice president of the Dutch National Board for Research Integrity (LOWI). Honorary promotor is prof. Elspeth Christie Reid. Earlier Hondius was awarded an honorary degree from the KU Leuven.