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Rules and Discretion in the Design of a Procurement System

Dr Steve Kelman
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Email: steve_kelman@harvard.edu 

Date: 13 January 2004
: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
: CARR Seminar Room, H615


The author of this paper was responsible, as a public management professor on leave from Harvard University from l993-97, for an effort significantly to de-regulate the process by which government procures goods and service, part of the "reinventing government" program of the Clinton Administration. The paper discusses both conceptual/philosophical/jurisprudential arguments for greater reliance on rules versus greater room for discretion in the management of government procurement (and by extension to other areas of government regulation and/or public management) and the specifics of de-regulation in the context of public procurement in the US. The presentation will also contrast administrative law versus public management approaches to the government's regulation of itself.