International symposium on public procurement and auditing

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An international symposium on ‘Developing trends in Public Procurement and Auditing’ will be held in May 2007. Organised by ESA, the symposium will review practices in the field of public procurement and auditing, share lessons learned and outline recent trends.

As an international procurement agency ESA places large development contracts with leading space industries located in its 17 Member States, and auditing is an important and integral part of its procurement process. By bringing professional procurement and auditing experts together in an international setting ESA believes the symposium will provide a unique opportunity to create an inspiring and useful forum on public procurement and auditing.

The symposium, which will take place from 14 to 16 May 2007 at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, is open to managers and personnel actively involved in international and public procurements and auditing, as well as representatives of industry.

Best practices in procurement and related auditing

Procurement is the process that allows public organisations to secure the means to implement the mandate they have been assigned. The efficiency of this process reflects on an organisation’s overall functioning and its management.

Expert analysis of cost components and transparency throughout the whole procurement and auditing process are of particular importance for international and public organisations. In addition, their very nature requires and ensures a permanent inter-action with, and influence by, developments in the private sector.

Symposium topics

The symposium will have a number of plenary sessions together with parallel sessions during which more detailed topics can be presented and discussed among participants. Among potential topics of interest are:

  • adapting procurement processes to the evolving industrial landscape
  • simplifying and rationalising techniques in procurement organisation and standardisation of contractual elements
  • cost control and risk management
  • contracts between international organisations
  • the rights to audit for the procurement organisation
  • cross-border audit rights and international cooperation
  • labour, facility and overhead rate agreements
  • recovery of costs for research and development (R&D)
  • visibility and transparency of corporate cost charges
  • the impact of a fluctuating business base scenario in a long-term procurement relationship between customer and supplier
  • customer presence and role in the selection of sub-contractors
  • co-funding and partnership
  • intellectual property approaches in scientific and technical organisations

Who should attend?

All managers and personnel involved in international public procurement and auditing could benefit from this symposium. Industrial participation is particularly welcome as the symposium aims to bring together customers and suppliers. The participation of commercial and financial managers from the private sector will lead to interesting and stimulating presentations and discussions.

Participation is not limited to industries working with the space sector as it is also open to players in industrial fields with similar procurement characteristics, such as aeronautics, defence and R&D. By bringing together expertise from different relevant fields it is hoped to create a beneficial synergy for elaborating best practices in public procurement and auditing.


The schedule for the symposium is:

> March 2006 - First announcement
> May 2006 - Setting-up of the organising committee
> August 2006 - Call for abstracts
> September 2006 - Abstracts deadline
> October 2006 - Finalisation of programme
> December 2006 - Second announcement: call for registration
> March 2007 - Closure of registration
> May 2007 - Symposium
> July 2007 - Distribution of symposium proceedings

More information on this event can be found on the ESA conference site at This site will be updated with details on submission of papers, registration and logistics as soon as this information becomes available. Queries regarding the symposium can also be sent to:

Pieter van Beekhuizen
Head of ESA Procurement Auditing Division

Stefano Fiorilli
Head of Space Infrstructure Procurement Division

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