The Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) is a treaty that was launched in 1994, which focuses on the opening of public procurement markets between its signatories. Members of the GPA have committed to opening their government procurement markets to bids from foreign suppliers. This allows for competition, which ultimately leads to better goods and services and represents a critical component of international trade agreements.
The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the signatories to the GPA. As the UK works to adopt new trade policies following Brexit, it has expressed a desire to maintain its GPA membership. The UK`s commitment to the GPA has been reaffirmed in recent trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The GPA covers all procurement of goods, services, and construction works. It applies to procurement activities by government entities that meet certain monetary thresholds. In the case of the UK, the thresholds depend on the type of entity and the type of procurement. The GPA also includes provisions related to transparency and non-discrimination in procurement processes.
One of the main advantages of the GPA is that it provides foreign suppliers with access to government procurement opportunities that may otherwise have been closed to them. This can help to promote economic growth and innovation by introducing new products and services into the market. It also helps to ensure that the government gets value for money by promoting competition.
Another significant advantage of the GPA is that it promotes transparency in procurement processes. Through the GPA, governments commit to publishing information related to upcoming procurement opportunities, as well as information on the outcomes of procurement processes. This transparency promotes accountability and can help to reduce corruption.
In summary, the GPA is a significant international trade agreement that promotes free and fair government procurement practices. The UK`s commitment to the GPA is an essential component of its overall trade policy. By maintaining its membership in the GPA, the UK can ensure that its government procurement processes remain transparent, non-discriminatory, and open to competition from foreign suppliers. Ultimately, this can help to promote economic growth, innovation, and accountability.