PRO-Q and procurement management in special sectors: the case of local public transport

November 17, 2021

The PRO-Q platform is designed to meet the needs of public sector contracting stations and help them operate efficiently and rationally, contributing to optimal resource management. PRO-Q’s services are able to adapt to the needs of entities operating in both ordinary and special sectors, allowing each type of reality to work at its best, taking advantage of a software tool customized from its needs.

The peculiarities of “special sectors” in the Public Contracts Code

The Public Contracts Code stipulates that certain Public Entities or Enterprises are subject to a special procurement discipline, which is regulated by Articles 114-121 of Part II, Title VI of the Code. These entities operate in so-called “special sectors,” which differ from ordinary sectors because they are involved in the management of utilities, such as:

  • Water
  • Gas
  • Thermal energy
  • Electricity
  • Transportation services
  • Postal Services

These services are considered, at the European level, to be “services of general economic interest” (SGEI) and are therefore regulated in a special way, for two main reasons: on the one hand, they are “strategic” services that require operating in a simplified way and with different limits and spending thresholds than for ordinary sectors; on the other hand, they are services often provided by entities that formally are private, but in fact operate by maintaining a special relationship with the Public Administrations that entrust them with the management of specific activities that are essential for the life of the community.

For these reasons, contracts involving these categories must be awarded following special operating procedures, and a platform such as Venicecom’s PRO-Q is able to do this, automatically managing the distinction between the spending thresholds set for special and ordinary sectors and remaining up-to-date at all times, even in the face of any changes in regulations.

PRO-Q and the management of the Qualification System.

In addition, the PRO-Q platform has tools designed specifically for special sectors, such as those related to the Qualification System. This tool, which can be used only in the case of special-sector contracts, makes it possible to create lists of qualified economic operators, i.e., entities that meet the requirements necessary to obtain contracts for works, services and supplies of goods in the special sectors.

With PRO-Q, contracting stations can easily manage the qualification phase of companies by creating a special tender notice. Once economic operators meeting the requirements of the regulations have submitted their application and obtained qualification, they can then be invited-again through the platform-to participate in all the procedures provided for within the qualification system, taking advantage of the possibility of dividing the list of qualified operators into subgroups differentiated by class of amount or type of contract.

PRO-Q for companies operating in the local public transport sector.

As we have seen, companies providing public transport services (LPT) fall under the special sectors discipline, although their situation is somewhat different from that of other service providers, such as electricity or water distribution companies. In the case of LPT, in fact, users can take advantage of a long series of alternative services (transportation by private vehicles, cabs, car sharing services…) that can meet their mobility needs, a circumstance that affects the way in which the companies providing local public transport service are organized. In spite of this peculiarity, LPT companies must still ensure the delivery of their service regardless of the commercial performance of the business, so they are fully included among services of general economic interest.

PRO-Q is able to fit into this unique landscape by offering companies active in LPT a tool that can meet their needs: this is what we did with a major company that manages local public transport service in various locations in the Veneto region. The company employs more than 600 employees and carries about 30 million passengers a year, and it approached us asking for a tool that could help it optimally manage its business.

The PRO-Q platform was identified as an ideal software solution to meet the company’s needs for reliability, flexibility and ease of use, and was therefore chosen as the tool for managing theSupplier Register and Tenders. The transportation company also chose to rely on PRO-Q for the supplier verification service ex-art. 80, in order to simplify and automate the inspection activities on suppliers required by law.

The satisfaction of the company, which recently renewed its trust in us, shows how effective PRO-Q’s potential is in the context of a particular sector such as LPT. In fact, the platform has proven to be an extremely effective tool in enabling entities providing transportation services to quickly, securely and transparently manage their contracts.

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