Government procurement, development and World Bank conditionalities

Olivia McDonald, G-24 Policy Brief No. 20

The World Bank’s narrow focus on value for money may undermine the ability of governments to use procurement as a tool for development; meanwhile, US and European corporate lobbyists continue to pressure the Bank to go slow on the use of country procurement systems. The government procurement issue needs to be addressed as part of the Accra aid effectiveness ministerial in September 2008. The current emphasis on liberalization in procurement runs the risk of undermining the legitimacy of donor support to this important process. Recipient governments need to look more closely at the technical reforms they are signing up to under the mantle of good governance and ensure they are not losing any of their policy flexibility or bargaining chips for trade negotiations.

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