Finland now has 15 regional public procurement champions
The KEINO Competence Centre has appointed a procurement champion to nine more regions in addition to the six regional champions appointed earlier. This means that Finland now has a total of 15 persons who, alongside their regular jobs, take responsibility for local support to the region.
The task of the KEINO champions is to bring the Competence Centre’s expertise closer to the parties dealing with procurements in the region. They give advice to and support the region’s public contracting entities in sustainable and innovative procurement.
In 2020, KEINO champions will focus on supporting and monitoring the strategic management of procurements and the contracting entities that aim at lower carbon procurements with the Competence Centre's help. Some champions will also focus efforts on ensuring that the research and instruction concerning sustainability and innovation carried out by Finnish educational institutions will become easily available to public procurement officials.
The appointed KEINO champions will start their work after induction training in February 2020 in the following regions:
- South Karelia, Anni Peltola
- South Ostrobothnia, Matti Alakoskela
- South Savo, Ilkka Liljander
- Kainuu, Kyösti Kauppinen
- Kanta-Häme, Jarkko Koskinen
- Central Ostrobothnia, Reijo Kinnunen
- Central Finland, Matti Kortteus
- Ostrobothnia, Jenni Nurmi
- Uusimaa, Pentti Komssi
"The persons appointed as champions had already been involved in public procurement before applying for the position. They will carry out the tasks of a procurement champion alongside their regular jobs. For champion tasks, the KEINO Competence Centre grants financial assistance to their employer organisations", explains Olli Jylhä, procurement adviser at the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, who is responsible for champion activities. "The champion appointed to the Kanta-Häme region is already acting as a champion for Satakunta and will thus have responsibility for two regions."
Keino invited applications until early January 2020 from organizations familiar with special local circumstances and with the parties dealing with public procurement. The applicants were required to have competence in innovative and sustainable procurement, interactive and networking skills, and knowledge of the market and the contracting entities in the region for which they would be responsible.
"I am delighted that the appointment of the new champions will allow us to offer local support across nearly all of Finland. For some regions we could not find suitable champions, but the KEINO Competence Centre will support contracting entities in these regions where necessary", says Circular Economy Director Isa-Maria Bergman from the sustainable development company Motiva. She coordinates KEINO’s activities.
The activities of the champions promote regional cooperation in procurement
The appointed champions have extensive experience and existing networks in the area of public procurement. A new aspect emphasising sustainability and innovation will be naturally introduced to procurement activities.
"My new role as a KEINO champion is a welcome continuation and addition to the work that I have been doing as a procurement adviser in the Kainuu region for seven years already. These years have seen the development of a close connection between contracting entities and companies, and I look forward to introducing the sustainability and innovation themes to this cooperation. It is especially important to convey the message that there are opportunities for employment. I hope that KEINO will provide more information for dissemination to the region, for example about opportunities for measuring the impact of procurements", says Kyösti Kauppinen, adviser for Kainuu procurement pool and the region’s new KEINO champion.
"Climate issues are topical in every respect, and they are also on the agenda of the city of Lappeenranta’s “climate capital strategy”, which is supported by procurements", says Anni Peltola, the city’s business services adviser and a KEINO champion for the South Karelia region. "We need sustainable criteria for the region’s procurements and new perspectives to the dialogues. The project to improve procurement planning in South Karelia has created extensive networks across the region. Champion activities will be an excellent way of continuing this work. I believe that KEINO activities will also provide a good opportunity for comparing regional best practices with national benchmarks."
Olli Jylhä ja Karin Metsäpelto