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Multilateral Disciplines on Services Procurement

Multilateral Disciplines on Services Procurement I. INTRODUCTION Annual budgets for government procurement worldwide have been estimated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to run up to US$ 5 trihion.' Services represent a substantial part of this, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total by value,2 and are increasingly becoming the largest purchases made by governments, particularly so by those OECD Members that rely on outsourcing strategies. Outsourcing means that private firms are contracted to undertake activities that were previously done by government "in-house" employees.3 Services procurement is rapidly becoming the most significant proportion of trade, and therefore any discrimination in this area can create important trade barriers. Nevertheless, this issue remains largely excluded from multilateral disciplines. The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) already covers services, but it is carried through to the World Trade Organization as only a plurilateral and not as a multilateral agreement.4 Whereas GPA signatories have access to a significant part of the Services procurement market, countries that are not GPA signatories do not have a guaranteed access to these markets. Therefore, on a multilateral front, negotiations of government procurement remain on the agenda. This article concentrates on the services dimension of public procurement. It starts http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World Investment and Trade Brill

Multilateral Disciplines on Services Procurement

Journal of World Investment and Trade , Volume 7 (6): 22 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1660-7112
eISSN
2211-9000
DOI
10.1163/221190006X00072
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I. INTRODUCTION Annual budgets for government procurement worldwide have been estimated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to run up to US$ 5 trihion.' Services represent a substantial part of this, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total by value,2 and are increasingly becoming the largest purchases made by governments, particularly so by those OECD Members that rely on outsourcing strategies. Outsourcing means that private firms are contracted to undertake activities that were previously done by government "in-house" employees.3 Services procurement is rapidly becoming the most significant proportion of trade, and therefore any discrimination in this area can create important trade barriers. Nevertheless, this issue remains largely excluded from multilateral disciplines. The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) already covers services, but it is carried through to the World Trade Organization as only a plurilateral and not as a multilateral agreement.4 Whereas GPA signatories have access to a significant part of the Services procurement market, countries that are not GPA signatories do not have a guaranteed access to these markets. Therefore, on a multilateral front, negotiations of government procurement remain on the agenda. This article concentrates on the services dimension of public procurement. It starts

Journal

Journal of World Investment and TradeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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