Four companies won one in ten euros from 2020 Spanish emergency contracts

This procedure was used - with no bids and little monitoring or transparency - in 16,589 contracts totaling 6.445 billion euros. The vast majority went to the purchase of supplies such as masks, but officials snuck in public television concessions, swimming pool operations, Tasers and even camels for a Three Kings parade.

Reporting and data: Eva Belmonte, Data: David Cabo, Visualisations: Carmen Torrecillas, Data: Miguel Ángel Gavilanes, Visualisations: Antonio Hernández, Data: María Álvarez del Vayo, Data: Ángela Bernardo, English editing: Lucas Laursen, Lucas Laursen, March 23, 2021

Story originally published in Civio

On March 31, 2020, in the first crazy days of the state of alarm, the Government of Murcia (Spain) awarded the management of its public television to CBM, the company that already held the contract. The difference is that, this time, it did so using emergency processing, an exceptional system that allows ultra-fast procurement, without opening a file and with very little prior controls and transparency. This system, the fastest and most direct available under the national Public Procurement Law (LCSP in Spanish), even allows officials to initiate contracts orally, and write the conditions later. Emergency procurement is limited to three very clear situations: catastrophic events, situations that pose serious danger and national defense needs.

The just-declared pandemic was and is a catastrophe that posed serious dangers, which is why officials used this system to purchase, for example, masks. It takes a little more imagination to understand how a routine public television service contract renewal helps fight the pandemic. But Murcian officials proved up to the task.

In the Murcian justification, the first argument is that the state of alarm stopped administrative procedures so the regional government could not continue the tender they had already opened. Beyond the fact that delays are not a sufficient cause to use the emergency procurement system, they did have time: the existing contract dated to 2015 and had already been extended three times. The latest extension expired on April 30, but officials only published the tender for replacing it on February 25, after several delays. Given that starting date, it was almost impossible, regardless of pandemics or a state of alarm, that bids would arrive on time.

The second argument is more ethereal: television is essential in disasters, Murcian officials wrote. Not approving the contract via emergency rules posed a “significant danger to people’s health and lives.” So they approved 744,000 euros per month under emergency procurement rules until the government could select a winning bid in an ordinary open tender. The plan was for it to be just a patch for two months, May and June, but the Murcian government has extended it twice, the last extension laid the groundwork for another extension in 2021.

All published emergency contracts of all public entities

We have analysed all the emergency contracts awarded and published in 2020 on the Spanish Public Sector Contract Portal and the linked platforms of the autonomous communities, excluding minor contracts. Some contracts may not be in our database because either they remain unpublished, are not linked to the national portal or are misclassified.

We have had to extract, clean and structure and fill in data by hand for months. We have found missing information, errors, inconsistent codes, delays and publishing differences between agencies. It was the only way to obtain as complete an overview as possible. The Transparency Portal, for example, includes only national contracts, does not include them all, and does not distinguish emergency contracts from urgent contracts. This is our methodology.

The Murcia public television contract is one of many officials snuck in among the masks, plastic screens and diagnostic tests. In total, Spanish public entities awarded and published at least 16,589 emergency contracts during 2020, totalling more than 6.445 billion euros. Emergency contracts made up almost 15% of all public contracts signed that year, an unprecedented percentage. For comparison: the General State Administration signed 658 emergency contracts worth 3.2 billion euros in 2020, up from 50 emergency contracts worth 27 million euros in 2019 and 12 contracts worth 3 million euros in 2018.

That is not surprising. It was a truly extraordinary situation. But what did it buy? From whom? And, most importantly, did our public officials follow the few emergency procurement rules? Are there more suspicious contracts? Spoiler: The answers to those last two questions are no and yes.

Four companies captured one in every ten euros

The health crisis forced many companies to reinvent themselves. Others saw opportunities in the midst of crisis. This is the case of FCS Select Products, an energy drinks company based in Barcelona with a branch in China that had never worked in the health sector. Thanks to four contracts signed with the Ministry of Health, all of them signed on March 23 and totalling more than 217 million euros, it became the main importer, or intermediary, of the Government.

FCS Select Products is the company that won the most money via emergency procurement in Spain in 2020. One of its directors had been convicted in 2015 for fraud, as revealed by El Confidencial. After those four contracts (here, here, here and here), it did not sign any more with Spanish public entities. It was a one-hit wonder. But a very, very lucrative one.

Emergency awards by company in 2020

The Chinese company Hong Kong Travis Asia is next on the list, having won 187 million euros, mainly due to a purchase of 150 million euros’ worth of masks. In fact, this company won one out of every three emergency euros that went to non-EU companies. Non-EU companies won a total of 574 million euros in emergency procurement, or 9% of the total.

Third on the list is Barna Import Médica. Unlike FCS, it was already involved in the importation and sale of health products before the pandemic. It contracted for 121 million euros spead over 225 emergency contracts. It sold masks, gloves and gowns, among other protective elements, to public entities at all levels of government.

The fourth is Abbott, which contracted for 111 million euros over 103 emergency contracts, the vast majority of which was for the purchase of antigen diagnostic tests, since they market one of the most effective of these tests.

In total, these four companies won some 637 million euros, almost 10% of the total amount in emergency contracts awarded and published in 2020.

What is an emergency and what is not?

The three rules that make an emergency

Emergency procurement can’t be used just because administrators want to hurry along a delayed tender. It can only be used fulfilling three conditions: the need is caused by catastrophic events, situations that pose serious danger or national defense; it is impossible to issue the contract through more secure methods such as urgent procurement, which shortens deadlines; or negotiated procurement, which allows direct selection of the company; and only what is strictly necessary is included in the emergency contract. Sorry, you can’t issue a five-year contract this way. National procurement agencies have reiterated these conditions (here and here, for example). See also our Basic Guide to the Procurement Law (in Spanish) in our Contratopedia.

When can emergency procurement be used? According to the Procurement Law, “when the Entity has to act immediately because of catastrophic events, situations that pose serious danger or needs that affect national defence”. In these cases, the public entity can hire whomever they want, without opening a file, even orally, to be able to start the process quickly.

In the past, public entities have used these contracts for unforeseen repairs (such as a broken pipe or the cracks in the road) or other urgent measures against storms and other catastrophes. But, even before the pandemic, administrations did not always follow these rules. On 2 January 2020 the Canary Islands municipality of Icod used this system to rent three camels for Three Kings Day. It was not enough, in the municipality’s justification, to issue a minor contract. They needed even more flexibility, and they also awarded it on an emergency basis. They had little time left, it’s true, but it is also true that the Kings come every year on the same day and the parade was therefore predictable. And, of course, it would not be a catastrophe or serious danger to host a parade without camels. Something similar happened in Cádiz, but in this case their emergency need for the holidays were Transformers and illuminated stars.

If we go back to previous years we find the purchase of food for the Boi Taüll ski resort or a Big Data and Machine Learning course that the public engineering company Ineco bought from Telefónica, q rather surprising emergency.

On 13 March 2020, one day before the declaration of the state of alarm, the first Decree Law of many with pandemic measures appeared in the Spanish Official Gazette. Among other things, it declared that the General State Administration could use emergency contracting “to meet the needs derived from the protection of people and other measures adopted by the Council of Ministers to deal with COVID-19”. Two weeks later, this power was extended to all public entities and advance payments were given the green light, even before signing any contracts or receiving anything.

With these rules on the table, in the midst of pandemic chaos, between thousands and thousands of emergency contracts, some crept in that, at first glance, do not seem to support the fight against the virus or to follow from the Council of Ministers’ decision. One of the most common examples is institutional advertising campaigns. It is clear that ads for masks + distance + hand washing do meet these requirements, but is less clear that ads for (annual) forest fire prevention campaigns, economic reactivation plans or -the most commone ones- tourism promotion campaigns should qualify.

Yet public officials signed numerous emergency contracts to promote tourism. Catalonia used a decree law. The Consell Insular de Eivissa did not bother to justify its emergency procurement of tourism advertising even though justifications are mandatory. Even the Secretariat of the Ministry of Tourism issued two million euros in emergency advertising contracts.

The municipality of Marbella spent 36,000 EUR on 15 Tasers. Its justification of the emergency use was: “Not all citizens willingly accept instructions” to follow confinement rules. They also called it a matter of workplace health and safety: “The agent is at risk of suffering another type of aggression that can degenerate into physical injury that weakens his immune defenses that can degenerate into the spread of COVID19 or any other infectious disease.”

When the municipality of Meco in the Autonomous Community of Madrid used the emergency fast-track to procure management services for its municipal swimming pool it gave the usual excuse of being in a rush (it’s that with all this fuss I just haven’t had the time), although it issues the same contract every summer. It also added a more imaginative excuse: the neighbours are having a bad time and need their pool.

Masks, tests, renovations and computer services

The bulk of the 6.445 billion euros in emergency contracts was used for pandemic protection. The vast majority, 5.398 billion euros, went to supply contracts, especially masks and other protective equipment (3 billion euros), followed by tests.

EveryCONTRACTEMERGENCYawarded andpublished in2020publicadmninistrationsbybreakdown byCATEGORYTo see the details, contract by contract,use our SEARCHER.See methodology6,444,650,637 €25,068 awardingsSuppliers5,398,165,386 €17,123 awardingsServices694,139,044 €6,953 awardingsWorks325,643,378 €940 awardingsServices or Suppliers24,457,083 €40 awardingsConcession1,133,588 €7 awardingsOthers931,692 €2 awardingsPrivate180,467 €3 awardingsOther protective clothing1,467,896,900 €1,505 awardingsMasks1,447,129,144 €1,460 awardingsTests597,902,198 €1,206 awardingsGloves524,366,957 €624 awardingsNot indicated295,335,050 €1,956 awardingsMiscellaneous284,347,023 €704 awardingsRespirators and ventilators156,966,381 €415 awardingsMedical equipment154,593,737 €1,548 awardingsIT equipment and licences130,722,032 €863 awardingsOthers73,330,319 €638 awardingsMedicines and Vaccines66,795,924 €636 awardingsSanitary equipment53,283,995 €1,264 awardingsFurniture and textiles39,119,526 €1,290 awardingsPatient rooms and accommodation31,414,078 €214 awardingsHydroalcoholic gel23,953,554 €460 awardingsfolding tents and prefabricated facilities17,930,000 €48 awardingsCleaning and disinfection9,125,380 €677 awardingsOther laboratory equipment8,274,760 €103 awardingsMedical gases4,074,339 €238 awardingsShrouds251,897 €23 awardingsElectricity and Electronics126,364 €7 awardingsMedical equipment31,553 €4 awardingsTests8,400 €1 awardingsPruebas COVID, rastreo de contactos, asist...122,713,692 €656 awardingsTransport, logistics and vehicle rental an...121,237,429 €406 awardingsCare for vulnerable groups, with or withou...88,389,855 €698 awardingsCleaning, disinfection, laundry, pest cont...86,521,969 €1,358 awardingsIT, telecommunications, software and digit...80,716,489 €486 awardingsInstitutional communication and attention ...59,419,163 €1,302 awardingsOthers36,399,334 €254 awardingsServicios de ingeniería y/o arquitectura, ...25,719,582 €585 awardingsAlquiler, almacenamiento, instalación, con...20,905,091 €283 awardingsSurveillance, security, access and capacit...16,350,565 €314 awardingsNo info12,034,409 €405 awardingsAdministrative management, staff reinforce...6,612,021 €135 awardingsRefurbishment, adaptation, repair and main...94,114,980 €288 awardingsRepair of roads and railways65,922,571 €142 awardingsFor storm Gloria52,732,378 €96 awardingsWater management and channelling / water s...26,157,508 €115 awardingsOthers18,493,327 €77 awardingsAmpliación, señalización y separación de e...16,902,179 €60 awardingsInstallation of sanitary equipment and mat...14,459,660 €30 awardingsDemolitions9,793,362 €6 awardingsRepair and reconstruction9,301,844 €43 awardingsAcondicionamiento, reparación y mantenimie...7,622,831 €34 awardingsFor other disasters and accidents6,047,609 €25 awardingsAmpliación de cementerios / Construcción d...1,774,791 €20 awardingsIT equipment and licences164,986 €1 awardingsRepair of roads and railways784,761 €3 awardingsRefurbishment, adaptation, repair and main...348,826 €4 awardingsOthers931,692 €2 awardingsOthers180,467 €3 awardingsSurgical672,813,395 €346 awardingsFFP2456,317,833 €360 awardingsNot indicated157,308,419 €386 awardingsFFP3103,816,976 €101 awardingsMiscellaneous41,123,909 €150 awardingsHygienic9,653,336 €53 awardingsKN953,645,601 €38 awardingsFFP1650,000 €2 awardingsOthers15,000 €1 awardingsPCR reagents and kits198,764,269 €536 awardingsTMA tests149,131,440 €41 awardingsAntigen tests110,796,618 €36 awardingsNot indicated51,180,712 €108 awardingsSwabs/swabs/brushes with tubes for specime...34,309,102 €188 awardings Antibody/serological test21,948,484 €105 awardingsMiscellaneous10,914,557 €45 awardingsSwabs/swabs/swabs/swabs alone5,737,193 €11 awardingsOthers4,146,664 €28 awardingsThermocyclers1,178,973 €9 awardingsNucleic acid testers and extractors, magne...453,252 €6 awardingsPCR test tubes and plates21,634 €7 awardingsTransport medium with two swabs13,594 €8 awardingsNitrile499,947,042 €409 awardingsNot indicated15,503,700 €88 awardingsVinyl4,350,049 €41 awardingsMiscellaneous2,847,612 €13 awardingsLatex1,252,184 €63 awardingsGel21,090,636 €383 awardingsNot indicated1,256,308 €5 awardingsDispensers788,079 €43 awardingsMiscellaneous465,021 €15 awardingsDisinfectant wipes158,335 €7 awardingsOthers8 €1 awardingsSwabs/swabs/brushes with tubes for specime...8,400 €1 awardingsClick on any element to zoom it, or the left column to zoom out.

Of the 326 million euros in emergency construction contracts in 2020, more than 94 million euros, or some 30%, went to build, repair and maintain health facilities. Beyond the coronavirus response, there are the usual emergency works: road and train repairs and repair to storm damage, in this case caused by storm Gloria, which killed thirteen people in January 2020.

Regarding emergency contracts for services, the majority was spent on transportation, logistics, and vehicle rental, sometimes to deliver purchased supplies to their destination; on covid testing, contact tracing, healthcare and patient accommodation; and cleaning and disinfection, especially in the first months, when people thought the virus waited crouching on the walls for hours, ready to jump on passers-by. Spending on social services and computing also stands out, in the latter case to meet the increased needs of remote working.

The General State Administration spent more than half of those 6.445 billion euros. Almost all of the emergency spending was by the Ministry of Health. Some 98% of the Ministry of Health’s procurement in 2020 was awarded via emergency rules. Among the autonomous communities, Catalonia (807 million euros in emergency spending) and Madrid (689 million euros) spent the most.

EveryCONTRACTEMERGENCYawarded andpublished in2020publicadmninistrationsbybreakdown byAGENCYTo see the details, contract by contract,use our SEARCHER.See methodology6,444,650,637 €25,068 awardingsGENERAL STATE ADMINISTRATION3,236,524,776 €1,207 awardingsAUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES AND CITIES2,955,159,530 €19,115 awardingsLOCAL AUTHORITIES232,359,557 €4,326 awardingsOTHER PUBLIC SECTOR ENTITIES20,606,773 €420 awardingsMinisterio de Sanidad3,034,583,076 €301 awardingsMinisterio de Transportes, Movilidad y Age...103,978,363 €181 awardingsMinisterio de Defensa25,872,043 €299 awardingsMinisterio del Interior21,073,746 €78 awardingsMinisterio de Hacienda17,815,559 €105 awardingsMinisterio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social ...10,128,720 €58 awardingsMinisterio de Justicia3,094,508 €18 awardingsMinisterio de Trabajo y Economía Social2,961,754 €22 awardingsMinisterio de Asuntos Económicos y Transfo...2,681,723 €24 awardingsMinisterio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo2,066,116 €1 awardingsMinisterio de Política Territorial y Funci...2,046,446 €6 awardingsMinisterio de Igualdad1,684,855 €3 awardingsMinisterio de Economía, Industria y Compet...1,674,404 €8 awardingsMinisterio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Eu...1,578,171 €17 awardingsMinisterio de la Presidencia, Relaciones c...1,283,185 €16 awardingsMinisterio de Ciencia e Innovación1,250,429 €25 awardingsMinisterio de Cultura y Deporte1,009,939 €13 awardingsMinisterio para la Transición Ecológica994,728 €20 awardingsMinisterio de Derechos Sociales y Agenda 2030421,293 €6 awardingsMinisterio de Universidades148,565 €1 awardingsMinisterio de Agricultura, Pesca y Aliment...125,849 €4 awardingsMinisterio de Educación y Formación Profes...51,303 €1 awardingsCataluña806,851,948 €5,536 awardingsComunidad de Madrid688,930,035 €3,736 awardingsComunidad Valenciana305,389,833 €747 awardingsCastilla y León240,590,424 €984 awardingsCastilla La Mancha219,871,765 €1,413 awardingsPaís Vasco160,966,284 €375 awardingsJunta de Extremadura103,439,096 €382 awardingsComunidad Autónoma Illes Balears94,139,369 €652 awardingsComunidad Autónoma de Canarias76,273,773 €1,449 awardingsRegión de Murcia56,928,918 €1,453 awardingsPrincipado de Asturias56,664,357 €661 awardingsAndalucía53,413,736 €178 awardingsComunidad Autónoma de Aragón33,386,928 €115 awardingsComunidad Autónoma de La Rioja29,816,039 €398 awardingsComunidad Autónoma de Cantabria14,919,291 €890 awardingsGalicia5,636,041 €31 awardingsComunidad Foral de Navarra5,375,107 €69 awardingsCiudad Autónoma de Ceuta1,570,344 €40 awardingsCiudad Autónoma de Melilla996,240 €6 Cataluña79,111,884 €1,628 la Comunidad de Madrid51,668,094 €338 Andalucía43,889,227 €797 la Comunidad Valenciana15,820,536 €329 Canarias9,896,517 €455 awardings...del País Vasco9,188,685 €114 Aragón4,807,419 €136 Castilla y León4,403,580 €116 Castilla La Mancha3,536,073 €98 Baleares2,792,442 €70 Galicia2,459,783 €134 Asturias1,912,546 €23 Extremadura1,309,981 €34 Cantabria735,788 €7 Región de Murcia390,977 €9 La Rioja230,534 €25 awardingsComunidad Foral de Navarra205,491 €13 awardingsUNIVERSIDADES12,392,841 €222 awardingsMUTUAS DE ACCIDENTES DE TRABAJO COLABORADO...4,729,992 €137 awardingsINSTITUCIONES INDEPENDIENTES3,483,940 €61 awardingsSecretaría General de Sanidad2,600,545,058 €245 awardingsADIF65,085,270 €92 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Transportes, Movil...31,650,472 €76 awardingsAdif-Alta Velocidad5,526,155 €5 awardingsRENFE Operadora Entidad Pública Empresarial882,604 €2 awardingsENAIRE733,408 €2 awardingsRENFE Fabricación y Mantenimiento, S.A.100,455 €4 awardingsEjército de Tierra13,273,844 €205 awardingsSubsecretaría de Defensa4,835,950 €39 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Defensa4,082,406 €16 awardingsEjército del Aire2,305,893 €10 awardingsArmada1,196,569 €26 awardingsISDEFE177,381 €3 awardingsSubsecretaría del Interior12,410,447 €18 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Seguridad7,154,103 €56 awardingsSecretaria General de Instituciones Penite...1,509,195 €4 awardingsSEPI14,759,028 €68 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Hacienda2,653,143 €27 awardingsSubsecretaría de Hacienda373,787 €9 awardingsHipódromo de la Zarzuela, S.A.29,600 €1 awardingsSecretaria de Estado de la Seguridad Socia...9,245,220 €55 awardingsSubsecretaría de Justicia3,094,508 €18 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Empleo y Economía ...1,801,148 €8 awardingsSubsecretaría de Trabajo y Economía Social867,350 €9 awardingsSubsecretaría de Trabajo y Economía Social 212,956 €2 awardingsFundación Estatal para la Formación en el ...80,300 €3 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Digitalización e I...1,893,536 €4 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Economía y Apoyo a...788,187 €20 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Turismo2,066,116 €1 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Política Territori...129,831 €1 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Igualdad y contra ...1,684,855 €3 awardingsICO1,553,509 €4 awardingsInstituto de Salud Carlos III120,895 €4 awardingsSubsecretaría de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión...1,124,172 €15 awardingsConsejo de Administracion del Patrimonio N...747,450 €5 awardingsCentro de Investigaciones Sociológicas237,508 €4 awardingsSubsecretaría de la Presidencia, Relacione...71,146 €2 awardingsSecretaría General de Investigación1,165,173 €10 awardingsInstituto Nacional de las Artes Escenicas ...425,934 €5 awardingsMuseo Nacional del Prado123,911 €2 awardingsSubsecretaría de Cultura y Deporte46,015 €2 awardingsBiblioteca Nacional de España39,320 €1 awardingsMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía20,764 €1 awardingsConsejo de Seguridad Nuclear257,193 €14 awardingsSecretaría de Estado de Derechos Sociales 421,293 €6 awardingsSubsecretaría de Agricultura, Pesca y Alim...125,849 €4 awardingsDirección Provincial51,303 €1 awardingsInstitut Català de la Salut (ICS)360,668,056 €963 awardingsServei Català de la Salut (CatSalut)107,264,101 €547 awardingsCentre de Telecomunicacions i Tecnologies ...44,139,345 €122 awardingsAgència Catalana de l'Aigua (ACA)29,588,769 €75 awardingsDepartament de Treball, Afers Socials i Fa...28,682,301 €105 awardingsSistema d'Emergències Mèdiques SA (SEMSA)25,557,371 €210 awardingsConsorci Hospital Clínic de Barcelona (HCB)25,219,573 €927 awardingsDepartament de Salut23,255,125 €38 awardingsPorts de la Generalitat13,120,071 €17 awardingsInfraestructures de la Generalitat de Cata...12,932,201 €41 awardingsFundació de Gestió Sanitària de l'Hospital...11,808,897 €285 awardingsAgència de Residus de Catalunya10,398,298 €3 awardingsDepartament d'Educació9,457,614 €32 awardingsConsorci Mar Parc de Salut de Barcelona8,540,523 €323 awardingsFerrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya8,398,575 €139 awardingsEns d'Abastament d'Aigua Ter-Llobregat (ATL)7,784,250 €2 awardingsDepartament d'Interior6,858,754 €263 awardingsConsorci Hospitalari de Vic6,548,257 €151 awardingsDepartament de Territori i Sostenibilitat6,477,378 €12 awardingsConsorci Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí d...5,811,922 €75 awardingsConsorci Sanitari de Terrassa5,523,386 €74 awardingsComissió Central de Subministraments5,272,415 €6 awardingsBanc de Sang i Teixits (BST)4,997,061 €26 awardingsOtras entidades4,444,671 €106 awardingsConsorci del Laboratori Intercomarcal de l...4,131,488 €50 awardingsInstitut de Diagnòstic per la Imatge (IDI)2,451,070 €2 awardingsDepartament de Justícia2,075,627 €132 awardingsConsorci Sanitari Integral1,754,957 €287 awardingsInstitut Català de Finances (ICF)1,749,245 €9 awardingsAgència Catalana de Turisme1,661,547 €2 awardingsInstitut Català d'Oncologia (ICO)1,629,441 €10 awardingsServei d'Ocupació de Catalunya (SOC)1,607,754 €16 awardingsConsorci Sanitari de l'Anoia1,485,848 €94 awardingsFundació Centre de Regulació Genòmica1,433,837 €42 awardingsConsorci Sanitari de l'Alt Penedès i Garraf1,418,972 €19 awardingsConsorci Sanitari del Maresme1,307,557 €49 awardingsConsorci d'Educació de Barcelona1,272,964 €5 awardingsDepartament d'Empresa i Coneixement1,198,303 €4 awardingsDepartament de la Presidència1,126,598 €7 awardingsGestió de Serveis Sanitaris (GSS)1,109,614 €9 awardingsCorporació de Salut del Maresme i la Selva1,055,401 €22 awardingsDepartament de la Vicepresidència i d'Econ...1,049,038 €13 awardingsConsorci de l'Autoritat del Transport Metr...589,520 €5 awardingsFundació Institut d'Investigació en Ciènci...350,000 €1 awardingsDepartament d'Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesc...289,599 €12 awardingsAgència de l'Habitatge de Catalunya285,409 €18 awardingsAgència Catalana del Consum244,026 €3 awardingsInstitut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellv...213,241 €1 awardingsCentre d'Atenció i Gestió de Trucades d'Ur...212,324 €1 awardingsFundació Institut de Recerca contra la Leu...199,652 €1 awardingsCorporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisual...198,588 €14 awardingsAgència de Ciberseguretat de Catalunya194,260 €2 awardingsFundació Institut Hospital del Mar d'Inves...192,745 €28 awardingsInstitut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Giron...168,365 €72 awardingsInstitut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques Augu...166,916 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Macroeconómico70,500 €1 awardingsComisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores61,877 €3 awardingsSecretaria General del Tesoro y Financiaci...34,618 €1 awardingsSecretaría General de Coordinación Territo...129,831 €1 awardingsCentro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiov...120,895 €4 awardingsDirección General del Servicio Exterior1,124,172 €15 awardingsDirección de la Agencia Estatal Boletín Of...71,146 €2 awardingsConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientí...1,035,625 €7 awardingsCentro Invest.Energéticas Medioambientales...129,548 €3 awardingsDirección39,320 €1 awardingsSubdirección de Gerencia20,764 €1 awardingsS.G. de Analisis Presupuestario y de Gesti...421,293 €6 awardingsDirección Provincial del Ministerio de Edu...51,303 €1 awardingsLaboratori de Referència de Catalunya, SA3,281,066 €93 awardingsImatge Mèdica Intercentres, SL768,520 €5 awardingsFundació Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (IR...321,100 €5 awardingsFundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu73,984 €3 awardingsServicio Madrileño de Salud568,207,309 €2,949 awardingsHospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada6,024,897 €162 awardingsHospital Universitario "Fundación Alcorcón"2,534,268 €142 awardingsEmpresa Pública "Unidad Central de Radiodi...1,530,800 €8 awardingsOrganismo Autónomo Agencia Madrileña de At...4,856,823 €96 awardingsEnte Público Agencia para la Administració...12,213,556 €39 awardingsEmpresa Pública de Metro de Madrid, S.A.6,450,598 €47 awardingsOrganismo autónomo Consorcio Regional de T...60,000 €1 awardingsOrganismo autónomo Madrid 1121,627,826 €2 awardingsCanal de Isabel II, S.A.1,237,100 €4 awardingsHispanagua, S.A.86,934 €1 awardingsOrganismo autónomo Agencia de Vivienda Soc...129,731 €9 awardingsSecretaría Autonómica de Hacienda11,607,912 €15 awardingsSubsecretaría - Consellería de Hacienda y ...98,926 €1 awardingsSubsecretaría - Conselleria de Educación, ...1,026,862 €6 awardingsLabora Servicio Valenciano de Empleo y For...283,818 €11 awardingsServicio de Salud de Castilla La Mancha (S...182,064,097 €347 awardingsSecretaría General de la Consejería de San...3,906,657 €824 awardingsDirección General de Salud Publica24,825 €3 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...6,743 €6 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...6,685 €2 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...1,345 €2 awardingsSecretaría General de la Consejería de Hac...15,706,111 €25 awardingsSecretaría General de Educación, Cultura y...9,043,461 €35 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...30,165 €1 awardingsSecretaría General de la Consejería de Bie...4,901,623 €41 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...210,468 €15 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...179,431 €5 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...85,078 €4 awardingsDelegación Provincial de la Consejería de ...35,002 €1 awardingsAgencia del Agua de Castilla La Mancha149,990 €1 awardingsSecretaría General de la Consejería de Agr...20,000 €1 awardingsSecretaría General de la Consejería de Eco...305,458 €4 awardingsSecretaría General de la Consejería de Des...261,610 €1 awardingsVicepresidencia216,515 €52 awardingsSecretaría General de la Presidencia de la...24,793 €1 awardingsSecretaría General de la Consejería de Fom...134,507 €4 awardingsOrganización Central131,666,576 €202 awardingsSeguridad7,532,045 €71 awardingsSalud6,262,374 €17 awardingsDesarrollo Económico e Infraestructuras2,970,300 €2 awardingsTrabajo y Justicia1,111,334 €5 awardingsEducación688,662 €4 awardingsPresidencia del Gobierno - Lehendakaritza486,291 €4 awardingsGobernanza Pública y Autogobierno323,549 €8 awardingsETS - Euskal Trenbide Sarea2,170,789 €7 awardingsINTERBIAK1,396,398 €8 awardingsEJIE-Sociedad Informática del Gobierno Vasco795,921 €11 awardingsEuskoTrenbideak FFCC Vascos, S.A.U.720,612 €6 awardingsLanbide221,887 €4 awardingsServicio Extremeño de Salud (SES)81,507,330 €277 awardingsServ. Extremeño de Prom. de la Autonomía ...6,944,012 €35 awardingsEnte Público Extremeño de Servicios Educat...1,861,863 €12 awardingsSecretaría General de Empleo539,114 €3 awardingsServicio de Salud de las Islas Baleares (I...89,750,904 €488 awardingsServicio de Empleo de las Illes Balears144,765 €6 awardingsInstituto Balear de la Mujer70,681 €3 awardingsServicio Canario de la Salud58,577,636 €1,236 awardingsInstituto Canario de Igualdad44,000 €1 awardingsServicio Canario de Empleo269,240 €6 awardingsViceconsejería de Comunicación y Relacione...244,802 €2 awardingsDirección General de Patrimonio y Contrata...132,155 €28 awardingsServicio Aragonés de Salud (SALUD)14,669,834 €27 awardingsBanco de Sangre y Tejidos de Aragón273,629 €6 awardingsInstituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud42,986 €3 awardingsInstituto Aragonés de Servicios Sociales (...5,232,053 €32 awardingsInstituto Aragonés de la Mujer (IAM)152,940 €3 awardingsAragonesa de Servicios Telemáticos (AST)326,568 €8 awardingsDirección General de Dependencia, Discapac...1,948,203 €14 awardingsDirección General de Servicios Sociales y ...30,861 €3 awardingsDirección General para el Avance Digital, ...573,687 €16 awardingsDirección General de Dependencia, Discapac...194,899 €2 awardingsDirección General de Servicios Sociales, C...80,855 €1 awardingsLa Rioja Turismo, S.A.U., La Rioja 360 Gra...127,645 €2 awardingsServicio Cántabro de Salud13,853,462 €867 awardingsServicio Cántabro de Empleo45,580 €1 awardingsDiputación de Tarragona150,199 €4 awardingsÁrea de Gobierno de Familias, Igualdad y B...11,510,060 €14 awardingsÁrea de Gobierno de Obras y Equipamientos9,788,586 €6 awardingsÁrea de Gobierno de Portavoz, Seguridad y ...5,322,250 €64 awardingsOrganismo Autónomo Informatica del Ayuntam...5,311,603 €2 awardingsOrganismo Autónomo Madrid Salud2,855,291 €12 awardingsDistrito de Latina1,933,452 €9 awardingsDistrito de Arganzuela1,657,126 €5 awardingsÁrea de Gobierno de Medio Ambiente y Movil...1,645,300 €4 awardingsDistrito de Puente de Vallecas757,805 €5 awardingsDistrito de Usera727,269 €10 awardingsDistrito de Villa de Vallecas567,344 €5 awardingsDistrito de Ciudad Lineal450,000 €1 awardingsDistrito de Retiro359,936 €7 awardingsDistrito de Villaverde335,997 €6 awardingsDistrito Centro279,064 €5 awardingsDistrito de San Blas-Canillejas223,371 €4 awardingsDistrito de Tetuán200,000 €2 awardingsDistrito de Moratalaz195,041 €2 awardingsDistrito de Carabanchel175,309 €6 awardingsDistrito de Moncloa-Aravaca171,311 €5 awardingsDistrito de Salamanca165,154 €3 awardingsDistrito de Chamberí157,143 €5 awardingsDistrito de Vicálvaro128,455 €2 awardingsDistrito de Barajas75,516 €3 awardingsOrganismo Autónomo Agencia Tributaria Madrid59,031 €4 awardingsDistrito de Chamartín26,722 €2 awardingsDistrito de Fuencarral-El Pardo25,034 €3 awardingsOrganismo Autónomo Agencia para el Empleo ...20,080 €1 awardingsDistrito de Hortaleza0 €2 awardingsMercamadrid617,679 €12 awardingsMadrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio, ...386,207 €6 awardingsEmpresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo d...10,990 €3 awardingsSeromal, S.A. Municipal de Construcciones ...313,785 €23 awardingsAyuntamiento de Sevilla7,768,825 €106 awardingsEmpresa Metropolitana de Abastecimiento y ...2,842,519 €4 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Sevilla2,109,714 €35 awardingsAyuntamiento de Dos Hermanas728,536 €14 awardingsAyuntamiento de Utrera696,199 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de La Rinconada658,265 €1 awardingsLimpieza Pública y Protección Ambiental So...508,140 €7 awardingsAyuntamiento de Mairena del Aljarafe183,637 €3 awardingsTransportes Urbanos de Sevilla, SAM144,244 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Alcalá de Guadaíra98,265 €6 awardingsCorporación de Empresas Municipales de Sev...59,719 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Pilas50,000 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Camas37,188 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Marbella2,434,775 €43 awardingsAyuntamiento de Fuengirola1,304,030 €65 awardingsAyuntamiento de Benalmádena1,011,495 €50 awardingsAyuntamiento de Mijas789,699 €13 awardingsAyuntamiento de Torremolinos399,228 €9 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Málaga379,184 €7 awardingsEmpresa Municipal de Aguas de Málaga S.A.284,229 €9 awardingsAyuntamiento de Casabermeja191,730 €2 awardingsEmpresa Malagueña de Transportes S.A.M.50,000 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Níjar4,607,496 €68 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Almería2,029,886 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Almería82,360 €5 awardingsAyuntamiento de Carboneras65,245 €7 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Córdoba1,384,781 €37 awardingsAyuntamiento de Córdoba1,161,124 €26 awardingsEmpresa Municipal Saneamientos de Córdoba ...721,347 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de Lucena95,992 €15 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Cádiz2,266,469 €57 awardingsAyuntamiento de San Fernando581,033 €21 awardingsAyuntamiento de Conil de la Frontera245,339 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de El Puerto de Santa María174,930 €7 awardingsAyuntamiento de Cádiz10,026 €4 awardingsInstituto Municipal de Deportes de Cádiz15 €1 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Jaén2,718,515 €26 awardingsAyuntamiento de Bailén35,717 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Granada1,637,824 €21 awardingsAyuntamiento de Gabias446,848 €11 awardingsAyuntamiento de Almuñécar303,815 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de Armilla48,233 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Ogíjares45,814 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Alhendín26,323 €12 awardingsAyuntamiento de Montefrío7,259 €8 awardingsMovilidad y Desarrollo Urbano Sostenible, ...423,283 €2 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Huelva238,975 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento180,614 €13 awardingsEmpresa Provincial de Residuos y Medio Amb...12,136 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Alicante/Alacant4,045,271 €31 awardingsAyuntamiento de Torrevieja1,647,591 €26 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Alicante407,604 €7 awardingsAyuntamiento de Alcoy247,315 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Calp244,199 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Dénia118,775 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Benidorm69,917 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Benissa53,000 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Guardamar del Segura39,094 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Villena38,723 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Novelda30,000 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Callosa de Segura24,793 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Elda48 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Valencia3,539,563 €88 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Valencia1,194,325 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de Sagunto486,183 €11 awardingsAyuntamiento de Oliva290,476 €23 awardingsAyuntamiento de Sueca152,178 €2 awardingsConsorcio para el Servicio de Prevención y...105,571 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de Moncada83,939 €5 awardingsAyuntamiento de Manises62,727 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Paterna31,366 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Puçol31,214 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Alboraya24,744 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Castellón de la Plana901,870 €13 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Castellón512,389 €36 awardingsAyuntamiento de Benicassim406,105 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Vila-Real288,827 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de Borriana49,500 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Benicarló39,600 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de L´Alcora20,790 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Segorbe19,800 €1 awardingsConsorcio Provincial para el Servicio de P...227,507 €5 awardingsEmpresa Mixta Municipal de Abastecimiento ...202,015 €11 awardingsGestión y Servicios de Paterna23,940 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de El Rosario2,472,984 €8 awardingsCabildo Insular de Tenerife867,366 €20 awardingsAyuntamiento de Arona620,166 €186 awardingsCabildo Insular de la Gomera260,884 €6 awardingsCabildo Insular de la Palma218,533 €13 awardingsAyuntamiento de Santa Cruz de Tenerife121,627 €17 awardingsCabildo Insular de El Hierro118,047 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Güímar90,600 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Santa Cruz de la Palma73,056 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Barlovento70,093 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Granadilla de Abona58,015 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Garachico54,512 €8 awardingsAyuntamiento de La Victoria de Acentejo52,867 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Breña Alta22,038 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Fasnia11,941 €9 awardingsAyuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria1,838,967 €76 awardingsCabildo Insular de Lanzarote692,925 €10 awardingsAyuntamiento de Santa Lucía de Tirajana521,000 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Arucas472,977 €14 awardingsCabildo Insular de Gran Canaria259,657 €9 awardingsAyuntamiento de San Bartolomé de Tirajana196,636 €4 awardingsAyuntamiento de Pájara126,466 €21 awardingsAyuntamiento de Ingenio110,254 €20 awardingsAyuntamiento de San Bartolomé de Lanzarote80,000 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de La Oliva78,199 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Tuineje35,942 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Valsequillo de Gran Canaria9,300 €1 awardingsTransporte Interurbanos de Tenerife202,605 €8 awardingsConsorcio Autoridad Única del Transporte d...136,787 €3 awardingsDepartamento de Políticas Sociales 5,771,169 €59 awardingsDepartamento de Acción Social1,653,063 €5 awardingsDepartamento de Administración Pública y R...724,546 €30 awardingsDepartamento de Hacienda y Finanzas272,727 €1 awardingsDepartamento de Empleo, Inclusión Social e...153,335 €4 awardingsDepartamento de Sostenibilidad y Medio Nat...58,870 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Zaragoza2,328,331 €59 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Zaragoza544,166 €3 awardingsEcociudad Zaragoza S.A.U.39,669 €2 awardingsSociedad Municipal Zaragoza Vivienda, S.L....19,854 €1 awardingsMercazaragoza, S.A.11,158 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Pastriz10,374 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de La Puebla de Alfindén8,640 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Cabañas de Ebro3,138 €3 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Huesca1,002,602 €13 awardingsAyuntamiento de Huesca377,064 €25 awardingsComarca Los Monegros56,821 €19 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Teruel373,100 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Aguaviva32,500 €1 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Palencia968,896 €25 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Salamanca865,753 €14 awardingsDiputación Provincial de León581,500 €10 awardingsAyuntamiento de Villaquilambre15 €3 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Burgos448,534 €20 awardingsAyuntamiento de Aranda de Duero95,160 €2 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Zamora510,160 €7 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Valladolid430,341 €25 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Soria337,657 €5 awardingsAyuntamiento de Ávila165,564 €5 awardingsAyuntamiento de Albacete1,081,605 €14 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Albacete410,496 €15 awardingsAyuntamiento de Hellín50,691 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Guadalajara687,053 €26 awardingsAyuntamiento de Azuqueca de Henares287,623 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de Alovera21,450 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Pedro Muñoz214,291 €4 awardingsAyuntamiento de Valdepeñas147,965 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Tomelloso127,954 €3 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Toledo361,079 €22 awardingsAyuntamiento de Illescas35,995 €2 awardingsConsorcio Provincial de Medio Ambiente de ...109,871 €2 awardingsServicios Informáticos Local de Menorca, S.A.269,973 €1 awardingsEMAYA, Empresa Municipal d'Aigües i Claveg...151,873 €7 awardingsCalviá 2000, S.A.92,124 €6 awardingsAyuntamiento de Vigo1,590,543 €41 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Pontevedra204,203 €7 awardingsAyuntamiento de Vilagarcía de Arousa98,462 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Narón191,271 €44 awardingsAyuntamiento de Cambre40,234 €26 awardingsAyuntamiento de Carballo24,198 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Mugardos23,097 €1 awardingsDiputación Provincial de A Coruña22,678 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Brión6,830 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de As Pontes de García Rodríguez1 €1 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Lugo258,266 €8 awardingsDivertia Gijón239,264 €2 awardingsEmpresa Municipal de Servicios de Medio Am...60,000 €1 awardingsDiputación Provincial de Badajoz641,196 €22 awardingsAyuntamiento de Mérida335,591 €3 awardingsAyuntamiento de Don Benito97,395 €2 awardingsAyuntamiento de Zafra82,645 €1 awardingsAyuntamiento de Plasencia153,155 €6 awardingsBahía de Mazarrón Ingeniería Urbana 200743,400 €1 awardingsUniversidad de Córdoba803,473 €13 awardingsUniversidad de Granada621,402 €11 awardingsUniversidad Pablo de Olavide569,636 €10 awardingsUniversidad de Huelva511,579 €3 awardingsUniversidad de Sevilla329,439 €18 awardingsUniversidad Rey Juan Carlos1,255,296 €43 awardingsUniversidad de Alcalá460,691 €9 awardingsUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid456,294 €8 awardingsUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid131,295 €4 awardingsUniversidad de Castilla-La Mancha2,019,438 €20 awardingsUniversitat de Barcelona649,254 €7 awardingsUniversitat Rovira i Virgili414,953 €5 awardingsUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya125,021 €1 awardingsUPCNET SERVEIS D'ACCÈS A INTERNET DE LA UP...116,594 €1 awardingsITHINKUPC, S.L.U.29,898 €1 awardingsUniversidad de Vigo973,030 €6 awardingsUniversidad de Valladolid553,624 €20 awardingsUniversidad de Burgos79,715 €2 awardingsUniversidad de Alicante344,156 €5 awardingsUniversitat de València215,792 €5 awardingsUniversitat Politècnica de Valencia36,300 €1 awardingsUniversidad de La Laguna504,728 €4 awardingsUniversidad de Oviedo268,908 €9 awardingsUniversidad de Zaragoza253,347 €2 awardingsUniversidad de Extremadura253,036 €5 awardingsUniversidad de Murcia195,850 €3 awardingsUniversidad de Cantabria193,573 €4 awardingsCentro Asociado de la UNED en Madrid26,520 €2 awardingsImprenta de Billetes, S.A., Medio Propio d...274,697 €17 awardingsParlament de Catalunya460,987 €3 awardingsAsamblea Regional de Murcia130,251 €3 awardingsDiputado del Común76,858 €1 awardingsParlamento de Andalucía66,200 €6 awardingsClick on any element to zoom it, or the left column to zoom out.

Due to their more limited competencies and budgets, local governments made up a smaller share of emergency procurement. But the city of Madrid, which spent 45 million euros on emergency procurement, stands out. Among the masks and tests, Madrid issued a contract for a censer to hold a flame in honour of the victims of COVID-19.

This article is part of Tenders Guru, a project funded by the European Union.

The data used in this article comes from the Public Sector Contracting Platform (PLCSP), where the majority of Spanish public entities publish procurement data. We have downloaded all contracts published from January 1 to December 31 from 2020. They total 119,976. In addition, we have also added the contracts that some regional administrations (such as Madrid and Catalonia) publish on their own websites and only summarise on the PLCSP. We found 53,838 such contracts. The goal was to create a comprehensive database for understanding emergency procurement in 2020 and detect potential abuses of the rules.

All amounts exclude value added taxes and we excluded so-called minor contracts, subject to less demanding transparency and publication rules.

Autonomous Communities

At the beginning of 2021, seven autonomous communities did not publish their procurement data directly on the national portal, but rather on their own portals: Andalusia, Catalonia, Euskadi, Galicia, Madrid, Navarra and La Rioja. The Region of Murcia published incomplete data on the national portal in 2020. Although in theory these regional portals are connected to the national one and the information should match, in practice there are problems. Not all contracts are available, and fundamental information is lacking, such as the award date and the urgency of the contract. Therefore, we have completed the contracts of these external platforms with additional details extracted from their web pages.

Unfortunately, each autonomous platform has its peculiarities. While Catalonia and Euskadi always indicate the urgency of their contracts in a clearly labelled field, Andalusia often leaves it blank, as does Galicia. La Rioja adds “Emergency” to its file code. Navarra does not always mention the emergency, but classifies the contract as “without procedure”, implying that something unusual is happening. Madrid labels its extraordinary contracts as “Other procedures”, but to find the level of urgency you have to look at the notes: “Emergency”, which it might spell “EMRGENCY” (sic) or “Emergeincy” (sic) or … Galicia classifies everything correctly but has not sent its emergency contracts to the national platform, so we had to add them by hand. (The Galicia web search engine also insists that there are no emergency contracts, although there clearly are.) Madrid does not send all its contracts to the PLCSP either, although we have not discovered the pattern: some arrive, others do not. So, we downloaded all the contracts from its website and added the ones missing from the PLCSP. Furthermore, Madrid is the only platform that does not publish the award date of its contracts, but rather the “award publication date”, which is not the same thing. Murcia published its health systems’ procurement in a spreadsheet separate from the normal contracting information. We combined all the purchases from that file and its non-health procurement to our database. Catalonia published a series of “umbrella” contracts with multiple awards in an attached spreadsheets, plus a separate summary file for the entities of the Generalitat itself. We have reviewed and cross-checked all these files and added the results to our database. Asturias already officially publishes directly in the PLCSP but continues to send some contracts to its own external platform, and some contracts have invalid URLs that do not seem to be accessible even in the Asturian platform.

In general, both for contracts published on external and national platforms, we have found many contracts where the winner of the tender was “See notes” or “See award”, which we have had to add manually. We also found many contracts where the award amount was empty or was clearly incorrect when compared to the budget. We have corrected the errors that we have detected by verifying the original award certificates. A special shout-out to this maintenance contract for six vehicles issued by the city of Oviedo, budgeted at EUR 37,200 and awarded to a local company for -supposedly- 251.52 billion euros, 6.7 million times the original contract budget and 143 times Asturias’ entire health budget. It does not seem to have attracted the attention of any of the officials involved in publishing the clearly mistaken information. (It is also surprising that the other bid did not win, for “only” 50 billion euros.)

The end result is what we believe is the most comprehensive public contracts database available in Spain. This does not mean that it contains all 2020 emergency contracts: although by law all public bodies must send their information to the PLCSP, not all platforms do it consistently, as the Independent Office for Regulating and Supervising Procurement (OIRESCON) has already reported. Some contracts must still be on the long journey (sometimes many months long) from award to publication.


Once we created the database, we reviewed it for possible errors: duplicate files, mis-classified procedures, lots with the wrong prices, mistaken fiscal identification numbers (especially in the case of non-EU companies, which tend to be inconsistently filled in) or names written differently each time, and separate contracts published together that we have had to extract and separate…

The most important revision has been in the award prices, which we always record without taxes. We have looked at what happened with those contracts that did not have any amount or reported an amount of 0. We have filled in as many gaps as possible. In the case of the -few- framework agreements, we have used the bidding price, that is, the budget, since the final expense will depend on the final amount purchased from each supplier, and that has not yet been published.

In all these cases, we have had to dig up the original award documents when needed. And, sometimes, we couldn’t even find basic information in those documents, such as what had been bought from whom and for how much money. The two main barriers have been missing information and inconsistency and typos in the data.

The categories

To establish the categories, we had to start with the basics: check which contracts were wrongly classified between supplies / works / services. From there, we have created general categories taking into account which objects were the most common. We have not been able to use the European common procurement vocabulary (CPV) code, because in most cases they were inconsistent or clearly wrong. We had to decipher which category each contract belonged to by its object, using keywords for each of them, also in Spain’s co-official languages, and checking them manually when necessary. An added difficulty: sometimes a single contract covered a variety of products or services.

The data

You can download and reuse the clean files we used in this analysis from the Civio open data website here:

If you find errors, please notify us

We know that the original source, the Public Sector Contracting Portal, contained errors, probably from data entry into the systems by the public entities. We have fixed the errors we found. We have worked on the data with the greatest possible rigor, but if you find any flaws in them or in our analysis, please write to us at and we will be happy to correct it.