Competition Law and Public Procurement

By Archit Gupta, National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

Governments devote a large share of taxpayers’ money to public procurement – purchasing goods and services from road building to school textbooks. Besides the central ministries and departments, public sector enterprises also form a major share in the overall public procurements. According to a paper by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), out of the total public procurement, public sector enterprises (PSEs) alone procure to the extent of 8 lakh crore annually (the figure relates to 2008-09)[i]. This activity is quite vulnerable to corruption and rigging with the involvement of both government officials and suppliers. Collusion between suppliers emerges in the form of bid-rigging and collusive bidding. Cartelization among suppliers with the help of government officials is a common feature and is the root cause of corruption. (more…)