Procurement in the time of COVID-19

  • Albert Sanchez-Graells University of Bristol Law School
Keywords: public procurement, extreme emergency, negotiated procedure without publication, COVID-19, joint procurement agreement, economic stimulus


This piece reflects on the role of public procurement regulation in the face of a situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, generating an extremely urgent need for the public sector to buy additional supplies and equipment. Counterintuitively, at a time of heightened public expenditure, public procurement rules are ‘deactivated’. That does not mean that unusual procurement mechanisms 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.

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