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Public procurement is a crucial pillar of service delivery for governments, affecting citizens’ lives in areas ranging from energy efficiency to health services. Because of the sheer volume of spending it represents, well-governed public procurement plays a major role in fostering public sector efficiency and establishing citizens’ trust. Governments are also increasingly using public procurement as a strategic tool for achieving policy goals such as environmental protection, innovation, job creation and the development of small and medium enterprises.

The 2015 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Procurement is the overarching OECD guiding framework that promotes the strategic and holistic use of public procurement. It is a reference for modernising procurement systems and can be applied across all levels of government and state-owned enterprises. It addresses the entire procurement cycle while integrating public procurement with other elements of strategic governance such as budgeting, financial management and additional forms of services delivery. The Recommendation was developed by the Working Party of the Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement (LPP) under the purview of the Public Governance Committee (PGC) and adopted by the OECD Council in February 2015 [OECD/LEGAL/0411]. It has been a source of inspiration for a number of other international standards, such as the Methodology for Assessing Procurement System (MAPS), the European Recommendation 2017/1805 on the professionalisation of public procurement, the Compendium of Good Practices on the Use of Open Data for Anti-corruption Across G20 Countries, and the G20 Principles for Promoting Integrity in Public Procurement.

In 2018, the OECD carried out a survey on the Implementation of the Recommendation in 34 countries, spanning a range of topics relevant to the 12 integrated principles of the Recommendation. Based on the survey results, this report presents progress made across OECD members and non-members in implementing reforms of their procurement systems. It highlights public procurement’s decisive impact on the delivery of better, smarter and more innovative public services. The report also sheds light on the contribution of public procurement reforms to crosscutting initiatives such as digital transformation or public workforce development. Annexed to the report is a recent study by the Inter-American Development Bank on procurement systems in LAC countries, illustrating how the Recommendation has been used to guide and shape the transformation of countries’ public procurement systems but also to build regional convergence in this policy area. While much progress has been made in reforming procurement systems worldwide, challenges remain, in particular the professionalization of the workforce to ensure it is capable of using public procurement to promote innovation, sustainability and growth.

This report demonstrates that the Recommendation has made a significant impact in the public policy arena. The OECD will continue to provide evidence to support countries in developing better procurement policies for better lives.

This document was approved by the OECD Working Party of the Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement (LPP) on 1 April 2019.

This document [GOV/PGC(2019)13/REV1] was approved by the Public Governance Committee on 7 June 2019 and adopted by the Council on 16 July 2019 [C(2019)94/FINAL] and prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

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https://doi.org/10.1787/1de41738-en

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Foreword