Public Procurement: Public Administration and Public Service Perspectives
Snider, Keith F.
Rendon, Rene G.
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Why is public procurement not a major topic in public administration education programs? While many scholars and practitioners acknowledge its importance, most master’s degree programs in public administration do not. In this paper we document this discrepancy, investigate its causes, and provide two remedies to place public procurement more squarely in the educational mainstream. The first entails a description of public procurement from wellestablished public administration perspectives, which illustrates how closely public procurement is aligned with the field’s traditional functions and issues. The second analyzes public procurement in the context of the “public service values” orientation of NASPAA’s accreditation standards, which indicates the extent to which these values are inherently accounted for and manifested in agency procurement policies, processes, and practices. Thus, public administration might achieve a deeper and broader understanding of public service values by paying more attention to public procurement in its education programs. We conclude with recommendations for public administration schools that may want to (a) incorporate public procurement content in existing master’s degree courses; (b) add a public procurement course; or (c) adopt a public procurement concentration for the master’s degree.
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