An independent expert's report commissioned by the European Commission, on the economic impact of the public procurement and utilities directives in the period 1993 - 2002, has just been published. The report was prepared by Europe Economics with Nabarro co-ordinating input on the legal aspects. The study indicates that there has been an increase in compliance, transparency and competition as a result of the directives. Most suppliers and public authorities consulted thought that the directives improved the professionalism of the procedures but concerns were raised about the inflexibility of the rules. In general, it was found that the rules improved the competitive pressure in markets for the more homogeneous and tradable goods, but the impact was less for services. The overall improvement on economic welfare is estimated at between €5 billion and almost €25 billion a year by 2002. The Report also makes a number of recommendations for future change. Key recommendations included tailoring the provisions for different types of contracts, promotion of better procurement practices, encouraging a greater focus on economic aspects of compliance and improving the system of remedies.