Government procurement

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For tendering in the public service, see Civil service examination.

Government procurement, or public procurement, is the procurement of goods, services or constructions on behalf of a public authority, such as a government agency. With 10 to 20% of GDP, government procurement accounts for a substantial part of the global economy.[1]

To prevent fraud, waste, corruption, or local protectionism, the law of most countries regulates government procurement more or less closely. It usually requires the procuring authority to issue public tenders if the value of the procurement exceeds a certain threshold.

Government procurement is also the subject of the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), a plurilateral international treaty under the auspices of the WTO.


Scope of application[edit]

Government procurement regulations normally cover all public works, services and supply contracts entered into by a public authority. However, there may be exceptions. These most notably cover military acquisitions, which account for large parts of government expenditures. The GPA and EU procurement law allow of exceptions where public tendering would violate a country's essential security interests. Additionally, certain politically or economically sensitive sectors, such as public health, energy supply or public transport, may also be treated differently.[2]

Regulation by jurisdiction[edit]


Government of Canada procurement activities are principally carried out pursuant to a governing framework consisting of statutes and regulations (including a challenge process), trade agreements and policies, directives, procedures and guidelines.[3] The principal statutory provisions regulating government procurement are:

  • Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (1996)
  • Financial Administration Act (1985) and the Government Contracts Regulations [4]
  • Defence Production Act
  • Federal Accountability Act, 2006 [5]

In general, bids must be solicited by the procuring department unless estimated expenditure does not exceed $25,000, or $100,000, "where the contract is for the acquisition of architectural, engineering and other services required in respect of the planning, design, preparation or supervision of the construction, repair, renovation or restoration of a work".[6]

European Union[edit]

Government procurement in the European Union has been regulated and harmonized by community law since the 1970s. It accounts for more than EUR 2 trillion, or 19% of the EU GDP.[2]

Czech Republic[edit]

Government procurement in the Czech Republic is regulated by Act No. 137/2006 Coll., on Public Contracts, as amended (Act on Public Contracts) and by Act No. 139/2006 Coll., on Concession Contracts, as amended (Act on Concession Contracts).


Government procurement in Gibraltar is managed by the Procurement Office, an independent office of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar which reports directly to the Financial Secretary.[7]


Government procurement in the UK is governed by the European Communities (Award of Public Authorities' Contracts) Regulations 2006 and the European Communities (Public Authorities’ Contracts) (Review Procedures) Regulations 2010.

United Kingdom[edit]

Government procurement in the UK is governed by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which implement EU law and also cover UK policy on promoting access for small and medium enterprise to public sector contracts. Tender opportunities announced by UK Government are published to:

Taking a considerable part of the state budget, Government procurement in UK is under severe public scrutiny.


Public procurement in Kenya is governed by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015.



Russian Federal Law N94-ФЗ of 21.07.2005 require all federal, regional and municipal government customers to publish all information about government tenders, auctions and other purchase procedures on special public government websites.


See also: GeBIZ

GeBIZ is a Government-to-business (G2B) Public eProcurement business centre where suppliers can conduct electronic commerce with the Singaporean Government. All of the public sector's invitations for quotations and tenders (except for security-sensitive contracts) are posted on GeBIZ. Suppliers can search for government procurement opportunities, retrieve relevant procurement documentations and submit their bids online.

United States[edit]

Government procurement by public authorities in the United States accounts for about USD 7 trillion annually.[2] Federal procurement is governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. FedBizOpps and are websites where federal contracts are shown. Public announcements of awards has several exemptions, including contracts less than $3.5 million.[8] Historically, the procurement data has been criticized for deficiencies leading to a number of reforms.[9] As of 2013, there is an initiative to consolidate eight legacy databases into a single system called System for Award Management.[9] Contracts are not posted online, although two agencies have explored the possibility.[9]

In January 2014, the Office of Inspector General at NASA released a report criticizing the agency's lack of strategic sourcing.[10] Because IT departments were spending autonomously, NASA spent $25.7 million on similar purchases.[11]

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and the Federal Acquisition Institute are active in procurement certification and training. A specialized program in procurement law in the United States is located at The George Washington University Law School.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Global Trade Negotiations Home Page at Harvard University, accessed 18 December 2006
  2. ^ a b c Prieß, Hans-Joachim; Harvey, Diana; Friton, Pascal. "Global Overview". Prieß (2012): 3–7. 
  3. ^ Public Works and Government Services Canada, Policy and Guidelines
  4. ^ Government Contracts Regulations, accessed 23 May 2016
  5. ^ Public Works and Government Services Canada, Statutes and Regulations, accessed 23 May 2016
  6. ^ Government Contracts Regulation 6b, accessed 23 May 2016
  7. ^ Government of Gibraltar, Procurement Office, accessed 5 July 2016
  8. ^ Update on FedBizOpps data. Sunlight Foundation.
  9. ^ a b c Halchin LE. (2013). Transforming Government Acquisition Systems: Overview and Selected Issues. Congressional Research Service.
  10. ^ Martin, Paul. "NASA's Strategic Sourcing Program" (PDF). NASA Office of Audits. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Busch, Jason. "NASA, or Need Another Sourcing Act: IT Security Spending Horror Stories". Spend Matters. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 


  • Prieß, Hans-Joachim, ed. (2012). Public Procurement 2012: An overview of regulation in 40 jurisdictions worldwide (8. ed.). Getting the Deal Through. ISSN 1747-5910. 
  • - All Government tenders and contracts in UK