The World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) is a comprehensive international agreement that aims to promote fair and transparent competition in government procurement. The agreement was first signed in 1981 and has since been updated several times.
The GPA covers government procurement of goods, services and construction work. It applies to the procurement of goods and services by national government entities above a certain threshold value. The thresholds vary between countries and are reviewed every two years.
Under the GPA, participating countries agree to open their government procurement markets to each other. This means that suppliers from participating countries are given equal treatment when bidding for government contracts. The GPA also requires participating countries to follow certain procedures when awarding government contracts, including publishing procurement notices, providing specifications and evaluation criteria, and giving suppliers an opportunity to challenge procurement decisions.
The GPA also requires participating countries to follow certain rules when it comes to purchasing goods and services. For example, it prohibits discrimination against foreign suppliers and requires that procurement decisions be based on objective and transparent criteria.
The benefits of the GPA are many. For one, it promotes fair competition in government procurement, which can lead to greater efficiency and cost savings for taxpayers. It also promotes transparency and accountability in government procurement, which helps to prevent corruption and other forms of unethical behavior.
Additionally, the GPA can help to promote economic growth and development. By opening up government procurement markets to foreign suppliers, participating countries can increase the availability of goods and services, and stimulate innovation and investment.
In conclusion, the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement is an important international agreement that promotes fair and transparent competition in government procurement. It provides a framework for participating countries to open up their government procurement markets to each other, and promotes transparency and accountability in government procurement. By doing so, the GPA can help to promote economic growth and development, and ensure that taxpayers get the best value for their money.