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Fragmented: Budgets and Contracts in Technical Assistance  October 2013

In this report we looked at EuropeAid's TA program from January 2008 to September 2013 and came up with the answers to the following questions:

  1. In which countries is most of the money spent?

  2. How many companies are active in the sector?

  3. How is the division of contracts per company?

  4. Where are the most successful companies based?

  5. Who are the top companies year after year?

  6. Which companies win most contracts?

  7. Who are the most effective tenderers at the top?

  8. Who are the least effective tenderers at the top?

  9. What is the probability of winning contracts?

  10. Which companies have been awarded the highest contract value?

  11. Which companies have been awarded most high value contracts?

To get the answers we looked at:

  1. The top 100 companies winning tenders in the period 2008-2013;

  2. The top 100 companies winning tenders in each of the individual years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the overall ranking on the basis of this data;

  3. A ranking of the top 100 companies over the years 2012 and 2013;

  4. And, finally, the 120 contracts with budgets above €4,000,000 in the period January 2012 - 2013 (September).

Among our conclusions are the following:

  1. With almost 400 unique companies that acquired a top hundred position in the nearly six consecutive years, the field of contractors is quite fragmented. This fragmented field of contractors becomes even more evident as 183 companies make up the top 'two 100s' of the last two years. It seems therefore that there is no coordination at all between the contracting authorities, primarily EU Delegations. The severity of the fragmentation is further demonstrated by a comparison between FWC companies and TA contractors: only 62 of the 410 FWC companies are in the top 100 for 2008-2013 of the TA contracts.

  2. There are too many small companies winning only one or two contracts over six years. While there are a number of niche or specialised small contractors, the majority have no obvious qualities and it must be asked why they make up so many of the winning consortia.

  3. There have been eight bigger companies identified who win the most contracts and appear in the top ten or twenty year after year. One would assume that these companies consequently also would consistently be awarded the bigger contracts. That is however not the case. A majority of the consortium leaders in these contracts have only been awarded one contract. This leads to the questions: why do the big companies win so relatively few big contracts? And: why are so many small companies winning big contracts?

There is much, much more in the full report including the names of the contractors who win the most contracts, the ones who win the highest proportion of tenders they bid for and so forth.

If you are a paid-up member of TACU, you should have received this report in the last week of October. If you did not receive it (and you are sure your membership is up to date!) please write to and we will send you a copy immediately.

If you are not a paid-up member but would like this report, please join TACU.