The predictions below were first published by the Procurement Network one year ago, in April 2014. They brilliantly reflect the procurement picture now, one year later.
Predicting the future of corporate procurement is hard and predicting the future of public and development procurement is close to impossible. There are no two similar countries or two similar international/development organisations, nevertheless, a few general aspects can be forecasted.
First prediction. Integrity will remain in a wish-list, but will not become an agenda.
Integrity, as Wikipedia claims is “a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.” In other words, integrity is a must in public and development procurement.
Today procurement actions, rules and approach are not synchronised among international organisations or states. Values are different, methods are divergent, measures are unequal and principles vary. As for expectations and outcomes – these are consistent, but not always positive.
Multilateral Development Banks do much better in harmonising their procurement rules and regulations. Some international organisations try to harmonise their procurement systems for the last decade. Some governments and organisations did not touch their procurement regulations and laws for ages, others change them every quarter. Therefore overall procurement integrity is still foggy.
Second prediction. Governments and international organisations will keep following trends by employing e-procurement tools. Each government and organisation will chose its own e-procurement software. EU countries sharing same procurement directives will use completely different e-procurement systems. The same will apply to UN agencies.
Third prediction. Procurement profession will not gain more value in state institutions and international organisations. Being the third prediction this is the problem #1. Public/development procurement is mistakenly considered something anyone can do. This will remain the same in 5 years from now.
Fourth prediction. Green and sustainable procurement principles and practices will influence public procurement in Scandinavian countries and in some international organisations (mainly from those countries).
Fifth prediction. Involvement of public and taxpayers in monitoring procurement will increase. In developing countries public procurement will become a hot topic for discussion.