Somogy County Government
The county is frequently called “Somogy Country”, for its area of 6036 km2 represents the fifth largest county in Hungary, counting 322 000 inhabitants. Due to its settlement structure consisting of small villages, it is one of the most scarcely inhabited counties; the population density takes 53 persons/km2. The county has got 245 settlements, among them 16 towns. The county’s administrative, political, economical, cultural and educational centre is Kaposvár, the county seat and town with county rights, counting 70.000 inhabitants. County council can involve more than 240 settlements located in the county and also legal entities owned by council as all shall apply public procurements.
Somogy County Government was established in 1990. As a regional public authority it serves the public good and makes no profit. On the other hand it carries out activities that are often subject to business consultancy and are usually outsourced by regional authorities. Its over 30 employees provide sound professional background for regional development and has deep knowledge in sectors that are typical subjects of development: SME development and innovation management, energy, environment, urban development, transport, industrial parks and clustering, education, tourism and employment.
As public legal status institution Somogy County has to carry out a vast number of public procurements each year including service, supply and work tenders. Therefore it has the relevant experience as various levels of procurement bids (both closed and open tenders) are regularly issued and evaluated on a paper basis. Procurements are carried out by the staff with the involvement of specialist experts therefore the necessary skills and knowledge are on place.
SCG has completed several EU-financed projects which involved investments, infrastructural development, social development, various events, international cooperation, researches and studies. Such projects were financed by different ERDF and ESF funded national OPs. Also SCG actively participated as a project partner or lead applicant in various projects financed by the Hungarian-Croatian CBC programme. Therefore SCG has a well-trained staff to implement international projects.
Experiences in PPI/PcP
However the need for the integration of PPI still remains a must and one of the key strategic priorities PPI is a key element towards innovative development. Somogy County has completed several procurements so far, but lacks knowledge and ability to really utilize PPI. The involvement of R+D outcomes and breakthroughs into public administration would come with several benefits, for every participant of the country’s administration, especially for county governments. Still, with outdated technical knowledge, lack of experiences and the low number of experts, we are far from successfully implemented PPI in the short term.
Partner role in project:
Somogy County is primarily pilot partner because PPI2Innovate project is based on dual partnership concept where piloting partner will realize the procurement and all other partners will participate. Somogy County's responsibility is to pilot selected PPI project using developed PPI2Innovate packages. Goal of pilot is to realize the design phase of the PPI process. PPI2Innovate project will realize the process of public procurement itself and sign the contract with winning private partner. Somogy County as pilot partner will be supporting other partners with creating linkages and rising awareness about PPI. In thematic WP2 we will collaborate with established Competence center at identification of implementable PPI projects and creation of PPI2Innovate Map. Our main role is in thematic WP3 to realize the pilot on a county level. We will also share all progress and experiences with other partners who are going to do a transnational monitoring and evaluation of our pilot project. We are also going to organize the study visit, which will provide the evaluators a clear picture of the pilot project’s state of art. This way we will assure the transnational exchange since all partners can bring critical insights into what is done and how it is done, enabling proposals for potential improvements and identification of issues, which would otherwise not become visible. With the help of an assisted pilot project, we could learn the practical ways of implementing PPI. Also, if we wish to implement such method, we strongly require the help of Project Partners who have relevant experience in such fields. Therefore in participating in PPI2Innovate we see opportunity to significantly increase our capacity and expertise in PPI.