COVID-19: Lessons Learned in Public Procurement. Time for a New Normal?

September 2020, Concurrences N° 3-2020, Art. N° 95667, pp. 46-58, https://www.concurrences.com/en/review/issues/no-3-2020/articles/covid-19-lessons-learned-in-public-procurement-time-for-a-new-normal-95667-en

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2021-19

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2021-19

21 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2021 Last revised: 30 Apr 2021

See all articles by Laurence Folliot Lalliot

Laurence Folliot Lalliot

CEROS, Paris Nanterre University

Christopher R. Yukins

George Washington University - Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1, 2020

Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis upended markets and assumptions in public procurement, and posed an almost existential threat to traditional procurement systems. Seismic changes in economic relationships – governments were no longer monopsonists, government officials failed as economic intermediaries between suppliers and the public, and supplies that were traditionally treated as private (such as medical equipment) suddenly became “public” goods under worldwide demand. Traditional trade rules were rendered irrelevant, as the goal was no longer simply to open individual procurements but rather to open borders to intense global demand. Although the disruption was revolutionary, ironically the solution is to return to first principles of transparency and integrity to preserve governments’ fragile legitimacy in a crisis. The press of the pandemic also showed the need for governments to reduce transaction costs by buying cooperatively and effectively across borders. These lessons highlight the need (and the opportunity) to rethink public procurement systems, to craft a “new normal” against the dark background of a worldwide pandemic.

Keywords: European Union, United States of America, Public sector, Principe of equal treatment, Principle of transparency, Public procurement, COVID-19, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare, Distribution

JEL Classification: H57

Suggested Citation

Folliot Lalliot, Laurence and Yukins, Christopher R., COVID-19: Lessons Learned in Public Procurement. Time for a New Normal? (September 1, 2020). September 2020, Concurrences N° 3-2020, Art. N° 95667, pp. 46-58, https://www.concurrences.com/en/review/issues/no-3-2020/articles/covid-19-lessons-learned-in-public-procurement-time-for-a-new-normal-95667-en, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2021-19, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2021-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3835200

Laurence Folliot Lalliot (Contact Author)

CEROS, Paris Nanterre University ( email )

200 avenue de la République
NANTERRE, 92000
France

Christopher R. Yukins

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-9992 (Phone)

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