Albert Sanchez-Graells from the University of Bristol – School of Law, has just released his recent paper ‘Public Procurement by Central Purchasing Bodies, Competition and SMEs: Towards a More Dynamic Model?’ He writes that while the creation of central purchasing bodies (CPBs) sought to generate administrative efficiencies and aggregate public demand to enable a buying power capable of delivering better value for money, they can have negative dynamic effects on market structure and the ensuing risk of bid rigging, distort competition for future public contracts, and reduce the resilience of the procurement system and the supply chains on which it relies by depleting the supplier pool. It can also generate excessive risks and result in unsustainable procurement systems, and he points to the failure of the UK’s centralised healthcare procurement system to react to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So in his paper he undertakes a comparative survey of CPBs oversight of market competition and SME participation in selected EU jurisdictions and the UK. There remains limited awareness at national level of the medium- to long-term negative effects of (excessive) CPB reliance and most current checks and balances are still rather static, he says. The paper suggests that a more dynamic model could be used as a regulatory benchmark. You can download that paper here.

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