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Technical criteria for the procurement of architectural services in Brazil

Sá, Leonardo Lima e (2021). Technical criteria for the procurement of architectural services in Brazil. Thèse. École nationale d'administration publique (ENAP), 411 p.

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Public procurement accounts for up to 15% of the world’s gross domestic product. Because of this sheer volume of spending, the OECD recommends that clear guidelines be developed to handle procurement procedures, aiming to foster efficiency, prevent corruption and establish trust. Most particularly, the OECD identifies a need for the development of sound technical criteria for the awarding process in public contracts. This need is even more important for public infrastructure, for which governments spend, annually, more than ten trillion US dollars. It is not clear, though, what are sound technical criteria. To date, research on technical criteria for public infrastructure procurement has been more than scarce, with only a handful of articles having been written on the subject. Scholars have overlooked the confusion surrounding how to incorporate technical criteria into procurement procedures, confusion that may generate delays, inefficient public expenditure, and mediocre quality of work. In Brazil only, reports from the Federal Audit Office found irregularities in more than 75% of procurement procedures for construction, a majority of those being linked to the poor quality of technical documentation given to contractors working on public infrastructure. Moreover, audits conducted by the Brazilian federal government on delayed infrastructure works showed that the low quality of technical documentation was the root cause of those delays in 47% of the cases. This research looks at an often-disregarded phase in the procurement process for public infrastructure, namely the provision of architectural services that precedes construction work itself. It identifies the discretion enjoyed by procurement officials in the interpretation of the country’s confusing regulatory framework pertaining to technical criteria as an important factor leading to the high level of irregularities and delays in infrastructure work. The study of public procurement is interdisciplinary by nature. Borrowing concepts from the literature on public procurement, administrative law and architecture, this research uses street-level bureaucracy theory, and especially the concept of administrative discretion, as a framework for assessing everyday practices related to the choice of technical criteria for architectural services in Brazil’s public service. This is a descriptive study in which documentary research was employed for collecting data, whilst content analysis and pattern coding were employed for analyzing the data. Results provide a detailed portrait of current practices, organized around technical criteria and the interrelated concepts of services procured and solicitation methods. They confirm that misuse of existing regulations on technical criteria is widespread in the procurement of architectural services in Brazil, which could explain the large numbers of irregularities, cost-overruns and delays. Grounded in practice, this research also (1) confirms the usefulness of street-level bureaucracy theory as a framework applicable to other types of public officials; (2) introduces a method for analyzing and collecting data on technical criteria for architectural iv services and other types of services; and (3) makes recommendations for policy makers and practicians regarding technical criteria. Furthermore, the portrait of current practices drawn
here enables future comparative studies concerning different jurisdictions or different services.

Type de document: Thèse (Thèse)
Direction de recherche
Garzon, César
Notes publiques: Sous la direction de César Garzon. Thèse de doctorat présentée à l’École nationale d’administration publique dans le cadre du programme de doctorat en administration publique pour l’obtention du grade de Philosophiæ Doctor (Ph. D.). Comprend des résumé en anglais et français. Ph.D. École nationale d'administration publique, 2021. Comprend des références bibliographiques (pages 263-301).
Mots-clés: Marchés publics (Administration publique); Pouvoir discrétionnaire; Droit administratif; Architecture; Brésil; DOCTORAT; THESE; ENAP; THESEUQ; Thèses et écrits académiques
Déposé par: Julie Hardy
Date de dépôt: 29 oct. 2021 18:33
Dernière modification: 01 nov. 2021 13:58
URI: https://espace.enap.ca/id/eprint/291

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