Public Spend Matters Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from This Week

Public Spend Matters Europe is dedicated to the exciting and fascinating matters connected with European public sector procurement. As usual, before you think about switching off, it's worth remembering that around Europe, we are talking about well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by government and public sector bodies of some sort. Worth doing well, you might consider. So here is a roundup of what we've been discussing this week.

If you find anything interesting please do click through to the full article:

The Garden Bridge and the Sunk Cost Fallacy in Government Projects

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan gave his support to the Garden Bridge project, to many campaigner’s dismay, and his argument seemed to include the concern that if it was scrapped now, the money spent already would have been wasted. It's not unusual to find examples of the “sunk cost” fallacy in government procurement projects -- how much money (or time, or effort) we have already invested in a project plays a role in our decision over whether to continue with it. Should we ignore past expenditure and look simply at the business case for the future?

The Cost of Public Procurement – Nonsense from UK “Leave the EU” Campaign

It is hard to believe that the UK survived reasonably well for years before we were part of the EU if you listen to the "remain" camp. Leaving will apparently bring plagues of frogs and locusts to devastate the country if we vote to leave! And as for Brexit -- their campaign is just as full of nonsense: complying with public procurement rules adds “at least £1.69bn” to the costs of government contracts! Well -- let's have a look at that in more detail ...

Improving Public Procurement in the Amazon Region

A senior economist at the Governance Global Practice for Latin America and the Caribbean and has been working for the past two years with subnational governments in Brazil and Central America, with a focus on the implementation and evaluation of public sector reforms. She talks about how public procurement has been improved in the Amazonas region and how the state had been paying some 27% more than the private sector to buy the same things, often with lower quality too! As you might guess, there are inherent challenges for the region, many linked to the geographic situation, but others that could be more feasibly addressed.

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