Procurement and Commissioning during COVID-19: Reflections and (Early) Lessons

Forthcoming, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly

12 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020

Date Written: October 8, 2020


This piece reflects on some common themes that are starting to emerge in the early analysis of the healthcare procurement and commissioning response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it largely results from the observation of the situation in the English NHS, the most salient issues are common to procurement in other EU healthcare systems, as well as more broadly across areas of the public sector that have strongly relied on the extremely urgent procurement exception in the aftermath of the first wave of the pandemic. Given the disfunction and abuse of ‘unregulated procurement’ in the context of COVID-19, the piece reflects on the longer term need for suitable procurement rules to face impending challenges, such as Brexit and, more importantly, climate change.

Keywords: procurement, commissioning, healthcare, COVID-19, pandemic, extreme urgency, unregulated procurement, probity, integrity, conflicts of interest

JEL Classification: H57, K23, K40

Suggested Citation

Sanchez-Graells, Albert, Procurement and Commissioning during COVID-19: Reflections and (Early) Lessons (October 8, 2020). Forthcoming, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Available at SSRN: or

Albert Sanchez-Graells (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - School of Law ( email )

Wills Memorial Building
Queen's Road Clifton
Bristol, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom


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