Procurement in the Time of COVID-19

Forthcoming, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly

10 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2020

Date Written: April 6, 2020


This piece reflects on the role of public procurement regulation in the face of a situation generating an extremely urgent need for the public sector to buy additional supplies and equipment, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Counterintuitively, at a time of heightened public expenditure, public procurement rules are ‘deactivated’. That does not mean that unusual procurement mechanism are not ‘activated’, though, as the example of the EU’s Joint Procurement Agreement shows. It also does not mean that ‘reactivating’ public procurement regulation will not present challenges, some of which deserve careful consideration.

Keywords: public procurement, extreme emergency, COVID-19, joint procurement agreement, economic stimulus

JEL Classification: H57, K23, K40

Suggested Citation

Sanchez-Graells, Albert, Procurement in the Time of COVID-19 (April 6, 2020). Forthcoming, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Available at SSRN: or

Albert Sanchez-Graells (Contact Author)

University of Bristol Law School ( email )

Law School Wills Memorial Building Queen's Road Br
Bristol, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom

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