The data were taken from the contract award records of the Bulletin Officiel des Annonces des Marchés Publics (BOAMP). From 2006 to 2011, 565,557 transactions completed between 6,182 contractors (procurers) and 26,570 suppliers were analyzed.
The BOAMP compiles calls for tenders and contract award results at the state, local community and public establishment levels. The contract award notice states the public procurer’s decision, along with the following information: identification of the principal and the tenderers, the type of market, type of procedure, awarding criteria, and publication date. The distribution of transactions by sector is based on the CPV (for Common Procurement Vocabulary) classification.
The CPV is the reference nomenclature for public markets adopted by the European Parliament. The CPV assigns a nine-digit code to about 6,000 terms generally used in awarding contracts on public markets. To simplify the analysis, we have retained three main sectors.
- The works market, which covers building construction or civil engineering projects (e.g. construction of a hospital or road repairs).
- The service market, which covers building cleaning and maintenance, and household waste collection services.
- The goods market, which covers provision of capital equipment and consumer goods (e.g. furniture or office supplies).
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The paper studies the impact of spatial proximity on supplier selection in the French public sector. While French public procurement legislation forbids consideration of supplier location in the procurement process, public contractors may still rely on spatial proximity for complex transactions necessitating mutual adjustments with suppliers.
Using French Official Journals (BOAMP), we compiled 565,557 transactions completed on three public procurement markets between 6,182 contractors and 26,570 suppliers, over a period of six years (between 2006 and 2011). We conducted a two-level hierarchical linear auto-regression analysis and a feature evaluation analysis for all transactions.
The paper finds significant variation between the transactions on different markets: a negative effect of spatial proximity on the number of contract notices in the public market and a positive effect of spatial proximity on the number of notices in the services and supplies markets. The difference lies in the levels of mutual adjustment required to optimally manage the relationship between public contractor and supplier.
The research is based on an econometric analysis conducted uniquely in the French context, which calls into question the external validity of the results obtained. The study also rests on segmentation into three aggregate markets, which might be considered too general.
Rather than analyze public contractors’ perceptions of the importance of the criterion of spatial proximity, the paper examines 565,557 actual transactions. The results point to the emergence of a new type of relationship with certain suppliers, which should lead public contractors to integrate relationship management competencies, in addition to legal and economic competencies, in the organization of calls for tenders.
Mamavi, O., Nagati, H., Werhle, F. et Paché, G., (2014). Out of sight, out of mind? Supplier spatial proximity in French public procurement, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 27, n°6. Download here