Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT: TECHNICAL CO-OPERATION

Technical co-operation in the field of government procurement

Pursuant to the mandate adopted by Ministers in Doha (2001), the WTO Secretariat has been undertaking an annual programme of technical co-operation activities to assist developing and least-developed countries in participating effectively in the WTO's work in the area of government procurement. The programme aims at promoting awareness of the role and significance of government-procurement-related policies at the domestic and international levels, enhancing participants' awareness of WTO activities and key concepts, principles and practices in this area, and exchanging information and sharing experiences on the implications of different bilateral, regional and multilateral disciplines.

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The activities include dedicated regional and Geneva-based government procurement workshops, often undertaken in co-operation with other multilateral agencies, and national seminars. Further, a number of broader technical co-operation activities (e.g., trade policy courses) of the WTO Secretariat are delivered with a government procurement component.
  

  

Introduction to Government Procurement-related WTO technical co-operation activities   back to top

WTO regional workshops on government procurement typically include modules on the following subjects: the economic and social significance of government procurement; pertinent developments in the region in which the workshop is being conducted; the basic architecture of the GPA; the definition and scope of government procurement and related coverage issues; procedural aspects of procurement and their relation to transparency, competition and non-discrimination; developing country issues, including the role of special and differential treatment; and compliance issues, including both domestic review procedures and the application of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding in relation to the GPA.

In addition, WTO regional activities usually include a module dealing with the detection and prevention of collusive tendering. This reflects the increasingly acknowledged importance of measures to prevent bid rigging and other anti-competitive practices as an adjunct to a liberalized government procurement regime. This calls, inter alia, for vigilance on the part of procurement officials and the development of appropriate communication channels with national competition agencies.

All WTO Secretariat TA activities in the area of government procurement embody an interactive format, emphasizing small group practical exercises in addition to question and answer sessions with resource persons and traditional lectures. The practical exercises permit participants to reflect on national objectives in this area in addition to deepening their understanding of relevant WTO activities and instruments.

The Geneva workshop on accession to the Agreement on Government Procurement differs from the Secretariat's regional workshops in that it has a particular focus on the GPA itself, whereas the regional workshops address government procurement as it relates to trade more widely, including developments in the regions and at the national level. The Geneva workshop is also tailored particularly to the interests of WTO Members that are in the process of acceding to the GPA and/or have made commitments eventually to seek accession to the Agreement.

The Secretariat's TA programme in this area involves significant cooperation with other international organizations, regional bodies, expert bodies from WTO members, and academic institutions. Such organizations and bodies have included the World Bank, UNCITRAL, the OECD, the national governments of numerous WTO member and observer countries in the relevant regions, and other institutions.
  

  

Relevant documents   back to top

Most of the above events use a background compilation of the most relevant WTO documents.
> Text of a recent compilation
Highlights from this compilation are the general overview of WTO government-procurement-related work prepared by the WTO Secretariat as well as summaries WT/WGTGP/W/32 and WT/WGTGP/W/33 of the substantive discussions in the multilateral Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement.
  

  

Technical co-operation events   back to top

The tables available at the following link provide an overview of the WTO Secretariat's main technical co-operation events in the field of government procurement since the adoption of the Doha Development Mandate in 2001. The tables cover , the GPA Geneva workshops, regional events, symposia and national seminars.
  

  

Annual technical assistance plan   back to top

The annual Technical Assistance Plan of the WTO includes events dedicated to the subject of government procurement or comprising a component on the topic.

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