Discussion of Functional Procurement at the local level: the municipality of Lund (where Lund University is located)

Domkyrkan, Lund, Photo credit: Ulf K | cc

The public procurement of goods and services in the world is 1.7 trillion US dollars – each year. A (small) part of this is functional procurement. In ‘product procurement’ the public buyer describes the products that he wants to buy – which is a serious obstacle to innovations. In ‘functional procurement’ the buyer describes the problems that shall be solved or the functions that shall be fulfilled by means of the procurement. Functional procurement opens for creativity, innovations (new products), higher productivity, better public services, and increased competition (between suppliers, but also between different products). Much of the  procurement is performed by local municipalities. The size of procurement in the small community of Lund (about 100 000 citizens) is about three billion Swedish Crowns (300 million US dollars), annually. The local government of Lund has a committee for procurement. This committee invited Charles to make a presentation on functional procurement on September 23, 2020. An interesting discussion with the members of the Committee followed. (A paper entitled “Functional procurement for innovation, welfare and the environment” is presented further below.)

Read more: “Functional procurement for innovation, welfare and the environment” accepted for publication in Science and Policy