Monday, April 7, 2014
The new and improved Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) took effect yesterday, April 6, 2014. The new Agreement's text has been streamlined and modernized to include, inter alia, standards related to the use of electronic procurement tools and a new provision relating to the prevention of corrupt practices in the parties’ procurement systems. The revised GPA also reinforces the provisions of the original Agreement aimed at promoting the conservation of natural resources and protecting the environment through the application of appropriate technical specifications.
The parties to the revised Agreement expect to see market gains of US$80-100 billion annually for their businesses. These gains will result from numerous government entities (ministries and agencies) being added to the scope of the GPA and from new services and other areas of public procurement activities being included in its expanded coverage.