Willem Janssen appointed chairman Advisory committee Proportionality Guide

I am honoured to be appointed by the minister, and look forward to contributing to improving Dutch procurement law and practices, says dr. Willem Janssen. He is an Associate Professor in European and Dutch public procurement law at Utrecht University. From 1 September onwards, Janssen will be the new chairman of the Advisory Committee Proportionality Guide (in Dutch: "Gids Proportionaliteit"). The committee provides solicited and unsolicited advice to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate on legislative changes to the Guide.

The Proportionality Guide has become a very important legal instrument, which has significantly improved the relationship between the market and government, explains Willem Janssen. The Committee fulfils an important role in maintaining the position of the Guide, which contains legal obligations, in the future.

Government and market jointly work on solutions

Disproportionate conditions in a procurement procedure are detrimental to effective spending of taxpayer’s money. Ultimately, they hinder the transition to a more sustainable society. Willem Janssen has been appointed by the minister for four years as the chair of the Advisory Committee. The composition of the Committee reflects public procurement practices. Representatives from both the government and the market partake to ensure that regulation is effective in the end. 

It is wonderful to be able to contribute to improving Dutch public procurement practices, whilst continuing my work at Utrecht University

Unique approach to proportionality

One of the most important aspects of the Aanbestedingswet 2012 (the Dutch Public Procurement Act) is the proportionality principle. The Proportionality Guide is an additional instrument containing legal obligations for all phases of the public procurement process. A selection criterion can, for instance, be disproportionate if it places demands on reference projects that are more stringent than the project at hand, or it can be disproportionate to ask lots of tenderers to submit their bid, all of whom have to incur high costs in preparing their bid. The Dutch approach is unique. It is often looked at with great interest abroad.

Leading research

It is wonderful to be able to contribute to improving Dutch public procurement practices, whilst continuing my work at Utrecht University,” says Janssen. “It shows that our work at the Center for Public Procurement (UUCePP) and the Center for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) is leading.