APLU joins the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights

APLU has joined the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights, a global network to generate knowledge, tools and guidance, and build capacity of local and national procurement agencies to integrate human rights into purchasing.

The International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights was established by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The Learning Lab aims to be a network of central and local government procurement agencies and purchasing officers; representatives of other relevant government bodies, such as ministries; procurement professional associations; regional and international organizations; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); national human rights institutions (NHRIs); and relevant academics.

The Learning Lab’s global network will be a platform and mechanism for:

  1. experience-sharing among procurement actors on approaches to integrating respect for human rights;
  2. generating knowledge about public procurement law and policy and human rights;
  3. producing and disseminating tools and guidance to build capacity to integrate human rights issues among procurement professionals; and
  4. promoting coherence between procurement and human rights in international and regional frameworks and initiatives.

Prof Geo Quinot, director of APLU, also joined the Steering Committee of the Learning Lab. Other collaborators include the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, London Universities Purchasing Consortium, Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham and the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group at the School of Law, University of Greenwich.

More detail on the work of the Learning Lab can be found at www.hrprocurementlab.org.

Quinot participates in Africa High-Level Public Procurement Forum

On 3-5 April 2017, Prof Geo Quinot, Director of APLU, participated in the Africa High-Level Public IMG_9367Procurement Forum on Harnessing Public Procurement for Socio-Economic Growth, hosted in Johannesburg by the African Development Bank and the Word Bank Group. Quinot spoke as a keynote speaker in the plenary session on 3 April on “Regulating Public Procurement for Development in Africa”. He also participated in a panel discussion on the question “How can public procurement contribute to realizing socio-economic aspirations?”.

IMG_9298In his keynote contribution, Quinot reflected on the mainstreaming of a developmental perspective on public procurement, and particularly the regulation of public procurement, in recent years. This trend is borne out by the patent link between public procurement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its sustainable development goals, most clearly in SDG 17 dealing with strengthening the means of implementation and partnerships for the goals; in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of 2015, where the parties commit themselves to “establish transparent public procurement frameworks as a strategic tool to reinforce sustainable development”. It emerges from the most recent UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, where there were a number of sessions focusing specially on public procurement as a mechanism to facilitate the private sector’s role in promoting human rights, including developmental rights. It emerges from the work currently done by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the context of business activities. In response to the draft general comment of the Committee on this topic, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission called on the committee to explicitly include attention to the state-business nexus in the form of public procurement.

The Forum was aimed at key public procurement policy makers, senior public procurement practitioners, development partners, academics, related professional bodies and international NGOs and brought together 250+ senior and technical-level government officials from almost all African countries, representatives from Brazil, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, South Korea, Ukraine, and Vietnam, as well as representatives of Transparency International, WTO, OECD, COST, USTDA, FIDIC, ITCILO, UN, CIPS, NEC, Government Technical Advisory Center of South Africa, WAEMU, EBRD, UNCITRAL and Open Contracting Partnership. At its conclusion, the Forum adopted the 2017 JOHANNESBURG RESOLUTION ON PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AFRICA HIGH-LEVEL FORUM ON HARNESSING PUBLIC PROCUREMENT FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROWTH. In the Resolution, delegates agreed “take urgent strategic and tactical actions, in order to accelerate and sustain achievements by: 

  • Elevating public procurement to a strategic function to enable it contribute to realizing countries sustainable and socio-economic aspirations; 
  • Strengthening the integrity of public procurement systems;
  • Substantially increasing capability building in public procurement and contract management through capacity development and professionalization of the public procurement function; 
  • Ensuring public procurement is effective in making PPP succeed in Africa; and 
  • Harnessing Information Technology (IT) for efficient public procurement.”

The Resolution sets out 37 Actions to be undertaken in realising these objectives.

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Procurement Law on Three Continents Symposium

On 25 April 2017, APLU hosted a symposium focusing on procurement law on three continents. Two scholars visiting APLU, Proff Christopher Yukins and Andrea Sundstrand, joined APLU’s Proff Geo Quinot and Sope Williams-Elegbe to discuss public procurement law in the United States, European Union, South Africa and within the Multilateral Development Banks, especially as applied in the African context. The symposium was attended by about 50 delegates including postgraduate students, academics in law, public administration and logistics, public officials, legal practitioners and members of the NGO community.

About the speakers:

Prof Christopher R. Yukins,
Lynn David Research Professor in Government Procurement Law; Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program, George Washington University School of Law, USA

CYChristopher R. Yukins has many years of experience in public procurement law. He was for several years a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, where he handled trials and appeals involving bid protests and contract claims against the U.S. government.

He teaches on government contract formations and performance issues, bid protests, Contract Disputes Act litigation, and comparative issues in public procurement, and focuses especially on emerging public policy questions in U.S. procurement.

He is an active member of the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association, serves on the steering committee to the International Procurement Committee of the ABA International Law Section, and previously served as the president of the Tysons Corner Chapter of the National Contract Management Association.

He is a faculty advisor to the Public Contract Law Journal, and has contributed pieces on procurement reform, international procurement, electronic commerce and information technology to a broad range of journals, including Washington Technology, Government Contractor, Legal Times, and Federal Computer Week. He has published on procurement reform in scholarly journals, including the Public Contract Law Journal, Georgetown Journal of International Law, and Public Procurement Law Review (United Kingdom).

Together with Professor Steven Schooner, he runs a popular colloquium series on procurement reform at The George Washington University Law School. In private practice, Professor Yukins has been an associate, partner, and of counsel at leading national firms; he is currently of counsel to the firm of Arnold & Porter LLP. He is an advisor to the U.S. delegation to the working group on reform of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Procurement Law, and he teaches and speaks often on issues of comparative and international procurement law.

Prof Andrea Sundstrand

Associate Professor in Public Law, Faculty of Law, Stockholm University, Sweden

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Andrea Sundstrand is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Stockholm University in Sweden. Her primary fields of interest are public procurement, EU-law and administrative law.  She is  a member of the Swedish Bar Association and has previously worked eleven years as a senior legal advisor at the Swedish surveillance authority for public procurement. She has also published a number of books on public procurement and started a Swedish public procurement network for lawyers with over 240 participants and the Procurement Law Journal, an open-access scientific law journal dealing exclusively with issues of public procurement. The overall aim of the journal is to highlight the topic of public procurement law in Academia, both at Swedish universities and at universities in the Nordic countries and in the Baltic countries.

 

Prof Geo Quinot

Vice Dean & Professor, Department of Public Law, Stellenbosch University

GQ2Geo Quinot is Vice Dean in the Faculty of Law and Professor of Law in the Department of Public Law at Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Founding Director of the African Procurement Law Unit (APLU) and Co-Director of the Socio- Economic Rights and Administrative Justice Research Project (SERAJ). He is currently Vice President of the Administrative Justice Association of South Africa. Quinot is also admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. In the Stellenbosch Law Faculty, Prof Quinot mainly teaches administrative law and constitutional law. He also regularly instructs public administrators in both administrative law and public procurement regulation. His research focuses on general administrative law, including a particular focus on the regulation of state commercial activity such as public procurement. He is the author of various articles in academic journals and electronic publications, chapters in book publications and author, co-author and/or editor of five book publications which includes State Commercial Activity: A Legal Framework (2009) Juta & Co and Public Procurement Regulation in Africa (2013) Cambridge University Press (with Professor Sue Arrowsmith). Quinot is a past editor-in-chief of the journal, Stellenbosch Law Review, and a founding editor of the new open-access journal, African Public Procurement Law Journal. Quinot often participates in national and international conferences in his fields of expertise, including on public procurement regulation and legal education. In 2012 and 2013 he served on a ministerial task team in the South African National Department of Health, focusing on the reform of health procurement systems in South Africa. In 2014 he completed an extensive research project for the South African National Treasury on the establishment of the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer and subsequently assisted that Office on reform of the South African public procurement regulatory regime.

Prof Sope Williams-Elegbe

Associate Professor, Department of Mercantile Law, Stellenbosch University

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Prof Sope Williams-Elegbe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mercantile Law at Stellenbosch University and specialises in public procurement law, anti-corruption law, international economic law and commercial law. She is the author of several publications in the area of corruption and public procurement, including Fighting Corruption in Public Procurement: A Comparative Analysis of Disqualification or Debarment Measures (Hart, UK, 2012). She is an editor of the Journal of African Law(Cambridge University Press) and a reviews editor for the Public Procurement Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell). Sope is also a member of the World Bank’s International Advisory Group on Procurement (IAGP) and has been involved in advising international financial institutions and government bodies on anti-corruption matters. Sope read law at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and subsequently undertook an LLM at the London School of Economics where she graduated with a distinction. She also completed a doctorate degree in public procurement law at the University of Nottingham, UK. Sope has taught law at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the universities of Stirling and Nottingham, both in the UK, and has been a visiting scholar at the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Lagos. Sope had her research on public procurement funded by the British Academy in 2006 and 2011. Her research has also been cited by the Constitutional Court of South Africa in Shaik v The State (2008). Her most recent publication is entitled Public Procurement and Multilateral Development Banks (Hart, UK, 2017) and is the first monograph to focus specifically on the procurement law rules of MDBs.

APPRRU name changes to APLU

At the Second International Conference on Public Procurement Law in Africa, held from 24-25 November 2016 in Cape Town, APPRRU announced the change of the unit’s name to the African Procurement Law Unit – APLU. The conference marked the five-year anniversary of the establishment of the unit and the change of name reflects the expansion of the unit’s focus over its first five years beyond strict research activities to now also include significant training initiatives and assistance to policy makers in designing public procurement law regimes.

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Quinot participates in first IACA Regional Summer Academy Eastern Africa

gqGeo Quinot, director of APPRRU, participated in the International Anti-Corruption Academy’s (IACA) second Regional Summer Academy – Eastern Africa (its first in Africa), held from 3 to 9 September 2016 in Kampala, Uganda.

The event brought together 60 professionals from 15 countries in the East Africa region and Burkina Faso. The course explored topics including institutional integrity, measuring corruption, law enforcement, resistance to political corruption, monitoring and compliance, and regional lessons and best practices.

Quinot’s session focused on “Anti-Corruption in the Area of Public Procurement – Lessons Learned and Best Practices”. During crv1uvewgaaiwdhthe session participants explored the linkages between public procurement law and anti-corruption measures, the central role of transparency rules in curbing corruption in procurement, the practice of placing restrictions on a range of persons, preventing them from participating in public procurement, the role of effective supplier remedies in the fight against corruption in procurement and on the rise of ombuds institutions such as integrity commissions and anti-corruption bodies. Participants also shared experiences in holding public officials accountable, including in criminal prosecutions, for corruption in procurement and how best to go about ensuring efficient procurement processes while also bringing those intent on corrupt activities to book.

The IACA Regional Summer Academy – Eastern Africa was funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation, in cooperation with IACA. More information on the event can be found in the programme brochure.

 

APPRRU roles out training to staff of the Public Protector of SA’s office

 

Prof Geo Quinot, Adv Kevin Malunga (Deputy Public Protector of South Africa), Ms Benita Young (Office of the PPSA), Dr Holger Dix (Head of the KAS Office in SA), Mr Tilmann Feltes (KAS)

Prof Geo Quinot, Adv Kevin Malunga (Deputy Public Protector of South Africa), Ms Benita Young (Office of the PPSA), Dr Holger Dix (Head of the KAS Office in SA), Mr Tilmann Feltes (KAS)

On 21 and 22 July 2016, Geo Quinot, director of APPRRU, presented the first of four units in a new training programme for staff of the Public Protector of South Africa’s offices in Pretoria. The programme focuses on public procurement law and the particular issues that the Public Protector’s office are requested to investigate. The initiative was conceived by Deputy Public Protector, Adv Kevin Malunga, and involves a partnership between APPRRU, the Public Protector of South Africa and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in South Africa.

In 2016 the programme will focus on training staff in the national and Gauteng offices with a view to expand the programme to all other regional offices from 2017.

 

 

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Yukins visits APPRRU

YukinsProf Christopher Yukins, Lynn David Research Professor in Government Procurement Law and Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program at George Washington University School of Law in Washington DC, visited APPRRU between 16 and 18 May 2016.

During his visit Prof Yukins presented a seminar to postgraduate students on “Developments in International Procurement”, touching on the approach to a range of procurement law questions in the US compared to international experience and in particular on anti-corruption measures in procurement law.

APPRRU members participate in World Bank’s Third Suspension and Debarment Colloquium 2015

In December 2015 two members of APPRRU, Dr Sope Williams-Elegbe and Prof Geo Quinot, participated in the World Bank’s Third Suspension and Debarment Colloquium 2015, held in Washington DC.

The Third Colloquium on Suspension and Debarment aimed to showcase the broad range of first principles underlying suspension and debarment systems, covering developing trends and potential harmonization of systems worldwide.

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Panelists at the Third Suspension and Debarment Colloquium 2015

Panelists compared and contrasted the foundational purposes of different systems and examined how those principles are put into practice around the globe. Panelists examined a range of questions as applied to any given suspension and debarment system: What are the offenses that are the bases for sanctions? Why are these offenses sanctionable? Who makes the sanctions decisions? Who is being protected by the adjudicative system? Building on themes discussed in the 2014 and 2012 Colloquia, the 2015 Colloquium also examined advice to be given to countries in the process of reforming or setting up their systems.

Dr Williams-Elegbe participated via pre-recorded video link in a panel on “Putting Theory Into Practice: Advice for Implementing a Suspension & Debarment System”. This panel focused on the practical realities many reform countries are facing in their attempts to implement a suspension and debarment system. The panelists addressed, among other things, the differing goals that could be achieved through suspension and debarment, the relationship between criminal and administrative law, and the impact and efficacy of debarment. A video recording of this panel can be viewed here.

121615-SUSPENSION&DEBARMENT COLLOQUIUM-277_FProf Quinot participated in the panel on “Developing Trends and Model Systems: Is the World Ready to Move Towards Harmonization of Suspension & Debarment?” As the world becomes more globalized every day, questions arise as to the extent to which systems across the globe should all conform to a set of international standards. The panelists examined the positives and negatives of global harmonization in the context of suspension and debarment systems. Should countries and international organizations strive to harmonize their respective systems?  What are the implications for existing (and future) cross-debarment agreements? A video recording of this panel can be viewed here.

For more details on the event and further materials, visit the Colloquium website.