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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2021

Jacco Robbert Jan van Berkel and Fredo Schotanus

This paper aims to study the short-term effects of a new procurement policy document on the inclusion of environmental requirements and green award criteria in tenders…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the short-term effects of a new procurement policy document on the inclusion of environmental requirements and green award criteria in tenders. The policy document is named “Procurement with Impact” and was released by the Dutch central government to further stimulate Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP).

Design/methodology/approach

Central government tenders were quantitatively analyzed in the six months prior and after the release of the new policy on their inclusion of environmental concerns. This judgment was made based on the role of environmental concerns in the requirements and the award criteria. As a control group, the same was done on a municipal level, for which the new policy document does not apply. Each of the four samples contained 60 tenders. Data was acquired via the European public procurement database TED. In the analysis, a chi-square test was used to measure whether a significant difference exists between the two periods for each group.

Findings

Results show that central government has procured in a more environmentally concerned way after the release of “Procurement with Impact.” Within a year, the number of green tenders conducted by central government significantly increased from 30% to 55%. No significant difference was found on a municipal level.

Social implications

SPP has received increasing attention over the past few decades but has not led to implementation of its principles in most public tenders. As SPP can have a major impact on a more sustainable and social society, it is important to understand how policy can influence the sustainability of tenders. The findings of our study show that “Procurement with impact” had a significant positive short-term effect on the inclusion of green award criteria and requirements in public tenders. Implementing similar SPP policies in other government sectors and other countries could have a substantial effect on the worldwide uptake of SPP.

Originality/value

Procurement with Impact” contains a clear sustainable vision embracing the principles of SPP. This government policy takes into account several SPP barriers and drivers and satisfies several policy theory conditions. The authors show in the paper that this policy is an effective instrument for increasing the inclusion of environmental concerns in tenders. As the difference is already significant within a year, this could also reflect the readiness of tenderers to turn to SPP once there is a clear organization wide policy.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2021

Barbara Allen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the underpinning ideas of public procurement allowed for broader outcomes – a more strategic form of public procurement

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the underpinning ideas of public procurement allowed for broader outcomes – a more strategic form of public procurement – to emerge. The paper contributes to the literature on public procurement by empirically addressing the evolution of procurement as a government policy lever in New Zealand so as to demonstrate how policy pragmatism can ensure a shift without a complete overhaul of a complex system.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has used a single country case study to examine a recent development in procurement policy. The objectives of the paper are achieved by adopting a unique conceptual framework connecting ideas, sensemaking and bricolage.

Findings

The paper provides empirical and conceptual insights about how bricolage, or policy pragmatism, aids in dealing with the constraints of ideational legacies. It demonstrates a particular form of targeting in procurement, common in public administration but not well understood in the procurement field.

Research limitations/implications

Single country case studies lack scientific generalizability. However, they add to the canon of knowledge that is lacking in the field of public procurement in this case. They also provide a stronger starting point for further research especially with respect to comparative studies.

Practical implications

The paper provides an excellent example of the development of procurement policy that is useful for procurement officials from other countries undergoing change or looking to update or create procurement policies. It shows a high-level process of implementation for government priority outcomes from a country well-known for its quality of public management and governance.

Social implications

New Zealand has significant equity issues especially as related to its indigenous population. Procurement is being used increasingly as a lever to improve equity. This article includes information about New Zealand's uptake of social procurement.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils a need for greater understanding of how policy is “put together” and the dynamics at major points of change or the implications of policy changes. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this case study of procurement policy in New Zealand is original, and the author is aware of no other similar work emanating from New Zealand in the academic journals.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 November 2022

Maria Carolina Foss and Maria Beatriz M. Bonacelli

This paper aims to analyze Brazil’s legal and institutional arrangements for the design, implementation and accountability of public procurement for innovation (PPI) and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze Brazil’s legal and institutional arrangements for the design, implementation and accountability of public procurement for innovation (PPI) and to investigate how this apparatus has been adjusted, modified and even replaced to enable its use in innovation policies.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a descriptive analysis of the legal framework for PPI in Brazil supplemented with case reports of ongoing PPI contracts.

Findings

Despite the significant advances in the PPI legal framework in Brazil, this instrument’s implementation is still limited. A disconnection between PPI and innovation policy goals and legal-institutional constraints are reasonable answers to this problem.

Social implications

Law is closely related to the design, implementation and control of public policy tools. However, there is still a tine understanding of how the legal framework can corroborate or constrain new mechanisms to state purchase power, such as PPI.

Originality/value

Public procurement is the most crucial tool of demand-side policies for innovation, and it is implemented according to the legal framework in each country. This paper adds to the law and innovation research agenda, providing an overview of the Brazilian PPI legal framework and how it is going so far.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2008

Keith F. Snider and Rene G. Rendon

This paper proposes a conceptual framework for the study of public procurement policy. It reviews policy-related writings by public procurement scholars and assesses these…

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Abstract

This paper proposes a conceptual framework for the study of public procurement policy. It reviews policy-related writings by public procurement scholars and assesses these works from the perspective of their contributions to generalized understandings of public procurement policy. Selected tools and concepts from the policy sciences are applied to propose a model to illuminate unique aspects of public procurement policy in ways that will facilitate its study. The paper concludes by discussing some recent actions, trends, and issues from the U.S defense procurement sector in terms of the framework. Models such as the one proposed in this paper will contribute to enhanced approaches to procurement policy analysis by scholars, as well as to informed and sophisticated policy implementation by practitioners.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Sue Arrowsmith

Public procurement is widely used to promote objectives of an economic, environmental and social nature, such as the economic development of disadvantaged social groups…

Abstract

Public procurement is widely used to promote objectives of an economic, environmental and social nature, such as the economic development of disadvantaged social groups. This article elaborates a detailed taxonomy of such “horizontal” policies. This study is valuable, first, to facilitate analysis of the practical phenomenon of horizontal policies and of the policy implications of different approaches and, second, to illuminate and develop the relevant regulatory frameworks under national and international regimes. The taxonomy is based on three key distinctions between the following: 1. policies limited to securing compliance with legal requirements and those that go beyond such requirements; 2. policies applied only to the contract awarded and those that go beyond it; and 3. nine different mechanisms by which policies are implemented in the procurement process.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Christy Smith and Jessica Terman

Scholars and practitioners have come to understand the important role of local governments in the causes and effects of climate change. The literature has examined both…

Abstract

Scholars and practitioners have come to understand the important role of local governments in the causes and effects of climate change. The literature has examined both the substantive and symbolic determinants of urban sustainability policies in addition to the implementation issues associated with those policies. At the heart of these policies is the idea that local governments have the desire and ability to engage in socially and environmentally responsible practices to mitigate climate change. While important, these studies are missing a key component in the investigation of local government involvement in sustainability policies: government purchasing power. This study examines the effect of administrative professionalism and interest group presence on the determinants of green procurement in the understudied context of counties in the United States.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Anthony Flynn and Paul Davis

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between firms’ experience of small- and medium-size enterprise (SME)-friendly policy and their participation and…

4444

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between firms’ experience of small- and medium-size enterprise (SME)-friendly policy and their participation and success in public procurement.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypothesised relationships between SME-friendly policy and three outcome variables – frequency of tendering, success rate in public contract competitions, and commercial orientation towards the public sector – are tested using survey data from 2,755 SME respondents.

Findings

SME-friendly policy is found to be significant in explaining success rates and commercial orientation towards the public sector marketplace. It is not significant in explaining frequency of tendering.

Research limitations/implications

The context for the study is Ireland. However, given institutional similarities in national public procurement regimes, particularly among EU Member States, the findings have relevance beyond the Irish context. The research design is cross-sectional and so does not allow for any causal claims to be made.

Originality/value

This study puts forward and tests an original model of SME-friendly procurement policy and its associated outcomes for firms. It develops a comprehensive 16-item instrument to measure SME-friendly procurement policy. It uses SMEs as research informants instead of public buyers.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Rainer Kattel and Veiko Lember

This article sets out to answer two interrelated questions: is it advisable for developing countries to use public procurement efforts for development, and should more…

2297

Abstract

This article sets out to answer two interrelated questions: is it advisable for developing countries to use public procurement efforts for development, and should more developing countries join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)? We survey key arguments for and against joining the GPA, and argue that government procurement should not be seen only as an indirect support measure for development, but also as a direct vehicle for promoting innovation and industries and, thus, growth and development. We also show that using public procurement for development assumes high levels of policy capacity, which most developing countries lack. In addition, we show how the GPA as well as other WTO agreements make it complicated for the developing countries to benefit from public procurement for innovation. The article suggests that the developing countries could apply a mix of direct and indirect (so-called soft) public-procurement-for-innovation measures. In order to do this, developing countries need to develop the policy capacity to take advantage of the complex and multi-layered industrial policy space still available under WTO rules.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2014

Caroline Nicholas and Michael Fruhmann

This paper will consider the rationale and effectiveness of SMEsupport policies in the award of public procurement (PP) contracts. One group of economic justifications for…

1366

Abstract

This paper will consider the rationale and effectiveness of SMEsupport policies in the award of public procurement (PP) contracts. One group of economic justifications for SME policies derives from the notion that awarding PP contracts to SMEs (and micro-enterprises) encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and so contributes to job creation, economic growth and can support local and regional developments to the benefit of wider society. The link between SMEs, innovation and economic growth has often been assumed in PP policy-making. While some studies show higher growth rates in small than larger firms, others indicate, to the contrary, that many micro and small enterprises, and particularly informal businesses, are not actively seeking to grow. This paper will assess how effective SME policies may be, and questions the extent to which they are properly evaluated.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Barbara Orser, Xiaolu (Diane) Liao, Allan L. Riding, Quang Duong and Jerome Catimel

This paper aims to inform strategies to enhance public procurement opportunities for women-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To do so, the study examines…

2194

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to inform strategies to enhance public procurement opportunities for women-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To do so, the study examines two research questions: To what extent are women-owned enterprises under-represented among SME suppliers to government; and Do barriers to public procurement – as perceived by SME owners – differ across gender?

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm and on theories of role congruity and social feminism to develop the study’s hypotheses. Empirical analyses rely on comparisons of a sample of 1,021 SMEs that had been suppliers to government and 9,376 employer firms that had not been suppliers to government. Data were collected by Statistics Canada and are nationally representative. Logistic regression analysis was used to control for systemic firm and owner differences.

Findings

Controlling firm and owner attributes, majority women-owned businesses were underrepresented as SME suppliers to government in some, but not all sectors. Women-owned SMEs in Wholesale and Retail and in Other Services were, ceteris paribus, half as likely as to be government suppliers as counterpart SMEs owned by men. Among Goods Producers and for Professional, Scientific and Technical Services SMEs, there were no significant gender differences in the propensity to supply the federal government. “Complexity of the contracting process” and “difficulty finding contract opportunities” were the obstacles to contracting cited most frequently.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of using secondary analyses of data are well documented and apply here. The findings reflect only the perspectives of “successful bidders” and do not capture SMEs that submitted bids but were not successful. Furthermore, the survey did not include questions about sub-contractor enterprises, data that would likely provide even more insights about SMEs in government supply chains. Accordingly, the study could not address sub-contracting strategies to increase the number of women-owned businesses on government contracts. Statistics Canada’s privacy protocols also limited the extent to which the research team could examine sub-groups of small business owners, such as visible minorities and Indigenous/Aboriginal persons. It is also notable that much of the SME literature, as well as this study, define gender as a dichotomous (women/female, men/male) attribute. Comparing women/female and men/males implicitly assumes within group homogeneity. Future research should use a more inclusive definition of gender. Research is also required to inform about the obstacles to government procurement among the population of SMEs that were unsuccessful in their bids.

Practical implications

The study provides benchmarks on, and directions to, enhance the participation of women-owned SMEs or enterprises in public procurement. Strategies to support women-owned small businesses that comply with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are advanced.

Social implications

The study offers insights to reconcile economic efficiency and social (gender equity) policy goals in the context of public procurement. The “policy-practice divides” in public procurement and women’s enterprise policies are discussed.

Originality/value

The study is among the first to use a feminist lens to examine the associations between gender of SME ownership and public procurement, while controlling for other salient owner and firm attributes.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

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