Competition Policies and Consumer Welfare Corporate Strategies and Consumer Prices in Developing Countries
Edited by Lahcen Achy and Susan Joekes
Public procurement and competition law are both highly important fields of legislation and public policy. However, they have largely remained as separate compartments in respect of the design of regulation as well as intervention practices. The extent to which competition law is enforced in public procurement has received only limited attention in the literature. Instead, observers have chiefly focused on the restrictions to market competition generated by the conduct of private suppliers taking part in public procurement, through practices such as collusion and bid-rigging. The effect of public procurement regulations and administrative procedures in generating such conduct, and thus the distortions they can create in the market, were often left underexplored. This chapter is an attempt to fill part of that gap in knowledge by investigating the role of competition provisions in promoting the efficiency of public procurement and ensuring value for public money in the case of Morocco. The chapter demonstrates that, to reach its potential as engine for economic growth and to enable an efficient use of public money, the rules and procedures for public procurement need to be actively pro-competitive as far as possible, and certainly must not inhibit or distort market competition. Public procurement accounts for about 16 per cent of GDP in Morocco and offers business opportunities to a large number of companies in different economic sectors through the country. The chapter uses a two-pronged approach to assess the state of competition in public procurement in Morocco. First, it examines existing regulatory provisions from the competition perspective. Second, the chapter draws on data from a sample of procurements awarded by selected contracting authorities to analyze their key characteristics with special reference to the structure of the particular markets involved.
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