Public Procurement: A Competition Perspective

AuthorGarima Bhagat
Published date01 June 2017
Date01 June 2017
Subject MatterArticles
Indian Journal of Public
63(2) 176–186
© 2017 IIPA
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0019556117699736
1 Joint Director General, Competition Commission of India, IRS (Indian Revenue Services), India.
Corresponding author:
Garima Bhagat, M 42, Nivedita Kunj, Sector 10, R K Puram, New Delhi 110022, India.
Public Procurement:
A Competition Perspective
Garima Bhagat1
Public procurement of goods and services accounts for 25–30 percentage of
GDP in developing countries. Since this involves public resources, it is important
to optimise efficiency of procurement which in turn is positively correlated with
the level of competition in the market. Paradoxically, various factors make public
procurement especially vulnerable to a host of anti-competitive practices. The
article examines various anti-competitive practices that may potentially affect
the efficiency of public procurement as well as ‘red flags’ in various stages of
the bidding process that could possibly point to bid rigging. However, by prop-
erly designing the procurement process, risks of bid rigging can be significantly
reduced. Data from various countries show huge savings to public treasur-
ies resulting from implementation of public procurement reforms. The article
also attempts to discuss the evolution of competition law in India over the last
seven years of operation of the Competition Act, 2002. Apart from the cru-
cial role of the Competition Authorities, the article underlines the need for
procurers to be proactive. Effective public procurement reforms in India would
require close cooperation among various stakeholders, such as the Department
of Expenditure, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Comptroller and Auditor
General (CAG), Competition Commission of India (CCI) as well as procurers.
Public procurement, anti-competitive practices, need for reforms, role of
competent authority, Competition Act 2002
Public procurement is essentially the purchase of goods and services by govern-
ments and state-owned enterprises. It encompasses a sequence of related activities

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