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Public Procurement at the Local Government Level: Actor roles, discretion and constraints in the implementation of public transport goals
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6480-8752
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Offentlig upphandling på lokal nivå : Aktörs roller, handlingsutrymme och begränsningar vid implementering av kollektivtrafik mål (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to gain further knowledge of how the Swedish local government level is affected by requirements to use public procurement through competitive tendering and, more specifically, understand the actions taken by included actors when public procurement is required in implementation of public transport goals. Through case study method, an in specific process tracing, various implementation processes have been examined. One studied process complied with the procurement regulations, while the others included elements that circumvented them. In each process, the actions taken by involved actors have been the focus. The findings are presented in four papers. An overall conclusion is that, when public procurement is required in implementation at the local government level, several actors need to interact. These actors may use procurement to expand, maintain, or restrain their discretion towards others actors. In addition, various control mechanisms, such as e.g. monitoring, are used to restrain an actor’s discretion when the actor is circumventing procurement legislation.

Abstract [sv]

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling är att öka kunskapen om hur den lokala nivån i Sverige är påverkad av kravet på att använda offentlig upphandling, och mer specifikt att förstå de handlingar som olika aktörer vidtar vid implementering av kollektivtrafik mål, då konkurrensutsatt upphandling är ett krav. Genom fallstudie metod har olika implementeringsprocesser undersökts. I en process har upphandlingsreglerna följts, medan i de andra har upphandlingslagen kringgåtts. Resultaten har analyserats utifrån principal-agent teori och presenteras i form av fyra artiklar. I studien konstateras det att flera aktörer är beroende av varandra i implementeringen. Aktörerna kan använda upphandling för att både behålla och expandera sitt handlingsutrymme gentemot andra aktörer, men upphandling kan även vara begränsande. I studien diskuteras även olika kontrollmekanismer som användas då aktörer kringgår upphandlingslagstiftningen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2011. , 62 + papers 1-4 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 528
Keyword [en]
Public procurement, Competitive tendering, Local government, Implementation, Public transport, Principal–Agent theory, Discretion, Public administration
Keyword [sv]
Offentlig upphandling, Implementering, Kollektivtrafik, Principal-Agent teori, Handlingsutrymme, Lokal nivå, Offentlig förvaltning
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67206ISBN: 978-91-7393-175-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-67206DiVA: diva2:408270
Public defence
2011-04-29, TemCas, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Solving procurement problems in public transport: Examining multi-principal roles in relation to effective control mechanisms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Solving procurement problems in public transport: Examining multi-principal roles in relation to effective control mechanisms
2010 (English)In: Research in Transportation Economics, ISSN 0739-8859, Vol. 29, no 1, 124-132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the EU’s increasing role in regulating public transport procurement, few studies have considered this aspect when analysing procurement problems of public transport. This paper examines how the institutional relationships between different actors, including international governmental bodies, in public transport effects the possibility of exerting control over a county public transport authority (PTA) in a multi-principal setting. The analysis is carried out using empirical material from an infringement process including a Swedish PTA and the EU. The conclusions have clear policy implications for the procedural order when exerting control over the PTA in cases of procurement problems. It is for example shown, that the implementation process would be much more efficient if the regulations allowed the EU to impose sanctions directly towards the local authorities without having to involve the national government when the procurement laws are violated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2010
Keyword
Public transport, Public procurement, Infringement, Principal-agent, European Union
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-59568 (URN)10.1016/j.retrec.2010.07.016 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-09-21 Created: 2010-09-21 Last updated: 2013-10-09Bibliographically approved
2. Bypassing public procurement regulation: a study of rationality inlocal decision making
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bypassing public procurement regulation: a study of rationality inlocal decision making
2011 (English)In: Regulation and Governance, ISSN 1748-5983, E-ISSN 1748-5991, Vol. 5, no 3, 368-385 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using private contractors through procurement is common in most public sector areas. Despite the benefits of procurement, officials are sometimes tempted to circumvent procurement regulations. The aim of the article is to examine strategies used by local governmental decision makers to bypass procurement regulations, analyzing the rationality underlying their actions. Interviews, court documents, municipal documents, and articles describing the actions of Swedish municipal officials concerning special transport service (STS) procurements were collected and analyzed. In a case in which rural municipalities lost regular taxi services after STS procurement, we demonstrate how decisions were driven by pressure from the public and local interest groups, making municipal officials deviate from procurement regulations in striving to secure the existence of regular taxi services. One outcome was that local businesses were given preferential treatment, violating regulations and reducing economic efficiency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell, 2011
Keyword
Decision making, procurement, local government, regulation, transport
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies) Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67201 (URN)10.1111/j.1748-5991.2011.01110.x (DOI)000293390100005 ()
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2016-08-21
3. The private whistleblower: defining a new type of role in the public system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The private whistleblower: defining a new type of role in the public system
2012 (English)In: Business and Politics, ISSN 1369-5258, E-ISSN 1469-3569, Vol. 14, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Public procurement has become a common element in Swedish administration. One purpose of procuring is to lower the costs of the procured service and another is for the political level to gain better control over what it is purchasing. However, monitoring problems exist when conducting public procurements; recent studies indicate that actions related to corruption among public servants are most common in public procurement processes. This article takes its departure in public actors monitoring problems. I argue that, in the case of public procurement, private actors have taken on a type of monitoring role towards the public sector, and that the public system in fact, depends on private actors to detect bypasses committed by civil servants. This article provides an understanding of this monitoring role and discusses its theoretical and practical implications for the public system. It is concluded that upholding the public system is not the primary objective for the private whistleblower but a positive effect. The monitoring role is analysed in the framework of principal-agent theory and should be seen as complementary to existing monitoring functions that public principals have at their disposal.

Keyword
Public procurement, monitoring, public-private, whistleblower
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67202 (URN)10.1515/1469-3569.1406 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2013-10-09Bibliographically approved
4. The tactics behind public transport procurements: an integrated actor approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The tactics behind public transport procurements: an integrated actor approach
2011 (English)In: European Transport Research Review, Vol. 3, no 4, 197-209 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In striving for a “successful” public transport system, functional procurement operations are needed. The “Scandinavian model” has gained popularity in Europe, prompting considerable research into relationships between government and private transport operators. To understand the Scandinavian model, one must also identify the roles governmental actors and institutions play when interacting in procurement processes. This article aims to provide an understanding of the interrelationships between the actors involved in planning a public transport procurement process. Using case study method, I have analysed power relationships between the actors in the procurement process used in Sweden and identified how resources are deployed to maximize influence while minimizing dependence on other actors. The article demonstrates that there is a dominant coalition that employs strategies within the rules of the game to regulate the process of  exchange. I conclude that the procurement entity is the dominant institution and that the actors working within it form a dominant coalition. The procurement entity, however, is dependent on political and financial resources from the principals to achieve its agenda.

Keyword
Public transport, Public procurement, Power resources, Principal–agent relationships
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies) Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67204 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2013-10-09

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