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.
Geo 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 the 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Attendees at the 2015 Global Revolutions VII conference at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.
APPRRU members at Global Revolutions VII (from left) Ama Eyo, Geo Quinot and Sope Williams-Elegbe with Annamaria La Chimia of the PPRG.
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”.
Williams-Elegbe delivering her paper at Global Revolutions VII.
Ama Eyo’s paper was entitled “E-procurement in practice: Reflections on the “SQuID” experience in Wales”.
Geo Quinot presenting at Global Revolutions VII.
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.
Prof Geo Quinot addressing Procurement Week 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.
David Green, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, UK, Sope Williams-Elegbe, Lisa Risley, Assistant Inspector General, USAID and Catherine Trujillo, Deputy Inspector General, USAID.
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.
Dirk Harrison, Contractor-General of Jamaica, Sope Williams-Elegbe, Stephon Grey, Director, BDO Forensic Accounting Ltd and Staff Sergeant Les Dolhoun, Team Lead, Financial Integrity Division, Royal Canadian Mounted Police