Public Investment In It Advances In The First Quarter, Despite COVID



The investment figure by Public Administrations in Spain during the first quarter of 2020 reached 518 million euros, 4.4% more than a year ago

In the first quarter of the year, technology purchases by the administration did not suffer, despite the onset of the health crisis in March. The investment figure by public administrations in Spain from January to March reached 518 million euros, of which 28.78 million euros correspond to purchases through the framework agreements of the General Directorate of Rationalization and Centralization of the Contract. In total, investment has grown by 4.4% compared to the same period in 2019, although contracting through the DGRCC has decreased by 7%, according to data from the ICT Adjudications barometer.

These figures show that, although during more than half of March this year practically all the procedures in progress were suspended due to the crisis caused by Covid-19, investment remained at considerable levels with a progression ascending from January to March. Considering the number of awards, during this first quarter of 2020, there have been a total of 2,430, which means 3.8% more than in the same period of 2019. Of these, 90% (2,194) have been tenders, while the remainder is contracts derived from the framework agreements of the DGRCC.

“Although the situation is now more stable, we have lived through a time of uncertainty. RDL 17/2020 that lifted the suspension of terms to contract arrived on May 7 and that was late for many administrative contracts since we must not forget that RD 463 and 465 declared a well-intentioned suspension of terms in the middle of March seeking the greatest possible guarantee for citizens and companies in the face of the pandemic, but surely ignoring the complexity of public contracting and at the worst possible moment from contracting and budget execution ”, says Carlos Maza Frechin, deputy director-general of Technology of Information and Communications in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

“In all this time, the ICT sector has had an exemplary behavior since there has not been a single case in which a company stopped submitting an offer due to the situation of the pandemic, nor a single case of special hiring resources arguing lack of means or the validity of the suspension of terms. In every one of our tenders, the ICT sector that serves us has shown a high degree of professionalism and efficiency, which is to be appreciated ”, adds Maza Frechin.

Indra, Telefonica, and Iecisa continue to be the most active

Indra with 38.56 million euros in 43 awards; Telefónica, with 37.06 million euros in 91 projects; and Informática El Corte Inglés, with 32.16 million euros in 62 contracts awarded, are positioned as the winning trio in this period as the main winners. For its part, the shortlist of organizations with the most investors is made up of the Madrid City Council’s Informatics, with 51.61 million euros in 20 contracts awarded; ENAIRE, with 25.46 million euros in 20 awards; and AENA, with 20.83 million euros in 27 awarded projects. It is the first time that a local entity is placed at the head of the most investing organizations, doubling the investment of the second position.

“The investment in the first three months of 2020 has been reasonable, to put a positive qualifier. The figure for the first quarter of last year has improved by over 4%, it has exceeded 500 million euros in a traditionally weak quarter, but it is convenient to analyze how this has been achieved “, says Carlos Canitrot, consultancy director of AdjudicacionesTIC .“It has grown thanks to services –especially maintenance and software developments- since both software and communications are decreasing and hardware is practically at the same levels as in 2019. Technology has been decisive in overcoming the epidemiological crisis and will continue being essential to help us get out of this pandemic, through data analytics, artificial intelligence, mobile applications, or robots. And, for this, ICT investments by the Public Sector will be essential.

Teleworking also in the administration

“In these months, the exception in the type of hiring has been a small percentage of our budget dedicated to reinforcing telework, an investment for the new normal in which mixed models will be implemented, once the Public Function regulates the matter”, adds Carlos Maza Frechin. “And the trend will continue because the cultural change has already taken place and among the ICT priorities will be the hiring of everything that contributes to making work more flexible, among others, home teleworking equipment (laptops, large screens, keyboards, mobiles, electronic certificates), instant messaging tools, videoconferencing of position and room.

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