AFRICAN PROCUREMENT LAW UNIT
The aim of the African Procurement Law Unit is to foster academic engagement in the field of public procurement regulation on the African continent.
Third International Conference on Public Procurement Law Africa>>
The PLAN Network is a permanent global network of academics interested in public procurement law and regulatory policy.>>
Prof 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.
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.
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.
Prof 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.
APPRRU once again supported the Public Procurement Research Group of the University of Nottingham in hosting the seventh event in the series of international conferences under the banner of Public Procurement: Global Revolution. This year’s event was held from 15 to 16 June 2015 at the East Midlands Conference Centre at the University of Nottingham in the UK. Apart from acting as chairs of various conference sessions, three APPRRU researchers read papers at the conference.
Sope Williams-Elegbe presented a paper on “Debarment: A Cross-Jurisdictional Evaluation”.
Ama Eyo’s paper was entitled “E-procurement in practice: Reflections on the “SQuID” experience in Wales”.
Geo Quinot spoke about “Balancing functionality assessment and policy considerations in complex procurement in Africa”.
Prof Geo Quinot, Director of APPRRU, participated again in the Welsh Procurement Week 2015 organised by Bangor University’s Institute for Competition & Procurement Studies (ICPS) from 16 to 20 March 2015. The week-long event included discussion of various aspects of public procurement law, policy and practice and culminated in the National Welsh Procurement Awards 2015.
Quinot delivered a paper that focused on the link between innovation and procurement. In it he argued that:
“There seems to be strong evidence and subsequent growing consensus that public procurement can be a very significant factor in supporting broad-based innovation and that this is a very promising tool that states have available to support innovation. The sheer volume of public procurement and the possibility to tailor that significant buying power towards innovative outcomes result in a powerful demand-side measure in support of innovation, a mechanism that any economy that is serious about innovation cannot ignore. However, from a regulatory point of view there are numerous questions that will have to be carefully considered in order to calibrate a procurement system to achieve maximum innovation policy objectives. In some respects these are fairly fundamental questions about how we conceptualise the procurement function in law and how we subsequently design the institutional framework within which this function operates.”
Quinot’s presentation can be viewed at this link.
More details on Procurement Week 2015 are available here.
On 10th April 2015, Dr. Sope Williams-Elegbe was invited to the prestigious SciencesPo University, Paris to discuss the topic ‘Integrity and Efficiency in Sustainable Public Contracts” and “Corruption and Conflicts of Interest”. The event was organised by Prof. Gabriella Racca of the University of Turin and Prof Christopher Yukins of George Washington University. The other panelists at the discussion were Prof. Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University; Prof. Laurence Folliot-Lalliot, Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense; Dr. Peter Trepte, Nottingham University; Janos Bertok, OECD, Michael Bowsher, Monckton Chambers & Kings College, London; Prof. Jean-Bernard Auby, SciencesPo.
From the 9th to the 11th of March 2015, Dr. Sope Williams-Elegbe was invited to speak at the first Fraud and Anti-Corruption Conference of the Office of the Contractor-General in Kingston, Jamaica.
The conference theme was “Confronting Corruption: Empowering a Generation, Transforming a Nation”. It was a very high level event convened to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to facilitate better cooperation and share ideas on the anti-corruption regime in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
Sope’s paper was titled “Fighting Corruption in Public Procurement in Developing Countries” and provided practical information on how procurement officials, investigators and law enforcement personnel may limit and uncover corrupt practices in public procurement. A copy of her presentation can be found here.
The British Academy has awarded a grant of £74 000 under the Newton Advanced Fellowship Scheme 2014 to Prof Geo Quinot of APPRRU (as applicant) and Prof Sue Arrowsmith of Nottingham (as co-applicant) for a period of two years.
The purpose of the grant is to continue the work started under an earlier British Academy grant that saw the creation of APPRRU as a platform to facilitate research on public procurement law in Africa. The current project will aim to strengthen collaboration between the University of Nottingham’s Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG) and APPRRU. It will also provide information and awareness of issues facing Africa to enable scholars and policy makers from outside Africa to take these into account.
The project programme will involve research resulting in scholarly articles in this field at the end of the two-years as well as teaching-related development, especially at post-graduate level. It will furthermore have important long-term objectives in supporting and developing the capacity of APPRRU to facilitate scholarship in this area in Africa. A key objective is thus to draw on and transfer the expertise of the PPRG in establishing and maintaining a centre of excellence in scholarship in public procurement, involving primary research, research collaboration such as through dedicated internet portals and conferences, teaching (especially at postgraduate level), capacity development beyond the university such as of practitioners and public officials, and direct participation in the development of policy and regulatory instruments in public procurement.
Dr Sope Williams-Elegbe of APPRRU was recognised as one of 92 researchers at Stellenbosch University who made the largest contribution to accredited publications and doctoral graduates at the university based on their 2012 outputs.
A total of 92 researchers performed in one or more of the three categories that were used for this purpose. With regards to accredited publications, two categories were taken into account, namely SU researchers who made the largest contribution with regards to the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)`s research publication subsidy units (cut-off 3.96 units), and SU researchers who produced the largest number of accredited research publications in collaboration with their national and international research partners and students (cut-off 10 publications) – in both categories the 2012 output year information was used. In this round, a third category was introduced that gives recognition to the contribution of researchers who produced 2 or more PhD`s in 2013.
Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector (Research and Innovation) stated that publications and doctoral graduates are the most important outputs of SU researchers. “These activities contribute greatly to the expansion of the reputation of SU as an outstanding research university. More important is the fact that new knowledge generated at SU is being transferred to a worldwide audience in this way, and ensures the application of research results and the establishment of high-level human capacity”. Prof Cloete furthermore thanked SU researchers for their exceptional contribution to SU`s research efforts and mentioned that researchers who produce these types of outputs of the highest quality can be regarded as one of the most important assets at any university.
From the 1st to the 2nd December, 2014, Dr Sope Williams-Elegbe of APPRRU was invited to speak at the 4th Caribbean Public Procurement (Law & Practice) Conference, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. She presented a paper on “Promoting Collective Action against Corruption” which can be found here. Her paper examined successful instances where collective action by the private sector had an impact on corruption in a particular jurisdiction in order to provide guidance for the Caribbean region. Corruption in public procurement and more generally is a problem in many developing countries and it is increasingly being realized that the private sector has to provide leadership in fighting corruption through collective action in states where the public sector is unwilling to do so.
Williams-Elegbe also led a workshop with Professor Chris Yukins of George Washington University, USA on “Defence Procurement: Managing Debarment”.