Mandates of Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement

Relevant excerpts from the Singapore and Doha Ministerial Declarations, the Cancún Ministerial Statement as well as from the General Council Decision of 1 August 2004 (the so-called “July Decision”).

Singapore Ministerial Declaration, paragraphs 21-22   back to top
adopted on 13 December 1996 (WT/MIN(96)/DEC, 18 December 1996)

“21. We further agree to:


- establish a working group to conduct a study on transparency in government procurement practices, taking into account national policies, and, based on this study, to develop elements for inclusion in an appropriate agreement; [...]


22.  In the organization of the work referred to in paragraphs 20 and 21, careful attention will be given to minimizing the burdens on delegations, especially those with more limited resources, and to coordinating meetings with those of relevant UNCTAD bodies. The technical cooperation programme of the Secretariat will be available to developing and, in particular, least-developed country Members to facilitate their participation in this work”.

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Doha Ministerial Declaration, paragraph 26  
adopted on 14 November 2001 (WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1, 20 November 2001)

“26. Recognizing the case for a multilateral agreement on transparency in government procurement and the need for enhanced technical assistance and capacity building in this area, we agree that negotiations will take place after the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on the basis of a decision to be taken, by explicit consensus, at that Session on modalities of negotiations. These negotiations will build on the progress made in the Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement by that time and take into account participants' development priorities, especially those of least-developed country participants. Negotiations shall be limited to the transparency aspects and therefore will not restrict the scope for countries to give preferences to domestic supplies and suppliers. We commit ourselves to ensuring adequate technical assistance and support for capacity building both during the negotiations and after their conclusion”.


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Cancún Ministerial Statement, paragraphs 4-6  
adopted on 14 September 2003 (WT/MIN(03)/20, 23 September 2003)

“4.  We therefore instruct our officials to continue working on outstanding issues with a renewed sense of urgency and purpose and taking fully into account all the views we have expressed in this Conference. We ask the Chairman of the General Council, working in close co-operation with the Director-General, to coordinate this work and to convene a meeting of the General Council at Senior Officials level no later than 15 December 2003 to take the action necessary at that stage to enable us to move towards a successful and timely conclusion of the negotiations. We shall continue to exercise close personal supervision of this process.


5. We will bring with us into this new phase all the valuable work that has been done at this Conference. In those areas where we have reached a high level of convergence on texts, we undertake to maintain this convergence while working for an acceptable overall outcome.

6. Notwithstanding this setback, we reaffirm all our Doha Declarations and Decisions and recommit ourselves to working to implement them fully and faithfully”.


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“July Decision” of the General Council, paragraph 1(g)  
adopted on 1 August 2004 (WT/L/579, 2 August 2004)

Relationship between Trade and Investment, Interaction between Trade and Competition Policy and Transparency in Government Procurement: the Council agrees that these issues, mentioned in the Doha Ministerial Declaration in paragraphs 20-22, 23-25 and 26 respectively, will not form part of the Work Programme set out in that Declaration and therefore no work towards negotiations on any of these issues will take place within the WTO during the Doha Round”.

The Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement is currently inactive.