No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
JOURNAL OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT, VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1, 9-50
PUBLIC PROCUREMENT RE-EXAMINED Khi V. Thai*
ABSTRACT. Academically, public procurement has been a neglected area of study even though governmental entities and public procurement practitioners have diligently worked to improve public procurement practices. This article will identify common elements of public procurement knowledge through a brief analysis of the literature and will provide a summary of government efforts to improve public procurement practices. In addition, this article will comprehensively re-examine public procurement by using a systems approach as a method of inquiry. Finally, implications of the proposed public procurement system regarding future research and study will be discussed.
In the public finance literature, government is involved in four major economic activities: (a) providing the legal framework for all economic activities, (b) redistributing income through taxation and spending; (b) providing public goods and services freely available to the public such as national defense, public safety, education, and infrastructure (bridges and roads); and (c) purchasing goods, services and capital assets.1 In 1914, the Rockefeller Foundation funded a series of intensive studies regarding problems of public administration. Government procurement,2 as one of four major economic activities of government, was also included in the study. As a result, a 275-page book, Principles of Government Purchasing, was published in 1919. Since then, there have been many developments in government procurement practices, including (a) numerous government --------------* Khi V. Thai, Ph.D., is a Professor, School of Public Administration, Florida
Atlantic University. His teaching and research interests are in public budgeting, financial management, government procurement and health care.
Copyright © 2001 by PrAcademics Press
procurement reforms; (b) the...