Title: Assessing the efficiency of centralised public procurement in the Brazilian ICT sector

Authors: Waldemiro Francisco Sorte Junior

Addresses: Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, Government of Brazil, Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco C, Sobreloja, Sala 146, 70046-900, Brasilia-DF, Brazil

Abstract: This paper focuses on providing empirical evidence of the advantages of centralised public procurement by means of a case study conducted from March to December 2011 in the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management in Brazil. The case study analyses public tenders for the acquisition of ICT products and services and demonstrates that centralised procurement can enhance the achievement of the following benefits: 1) cost reduction through economies of scale; 2) product and service standardisation; 3) quality optimisation of products and services procured; 4) knowledge sharing among specialists, resulting in better use of human resources. The study also shows that centralised procurement tends to benefit small public bodies, allowing them to acquire better products at a lower cost and to allocate their limited human and financial resources in sectors more directly related to their core competences. Nonetheless, the lack of autonomy of the procurement unit and the absence of an efficient pattern of communication between this unit and other departments are some of the constraints that should be addressed to make these centralised public processes more efficient.

Keywords: information and communications technology; ICT; centralised procurement; Brazilian government; procurement efficiency; public procurement; Brazil; information technology; economies of scale; standardisation; quality optimisation; knowledge sharing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2013.050610

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2013 Vol.6 No.1, pp.58 - 75

Published online: 30 Jan 2014 *

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