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SPOC (Organization, Contracts and Public Services)


The SPOC research group gathers academics and practitioners from various institutions. Its aim is indeed to promote the development of a network of researchers and decision-makers interested in issues related to public services reforms. For two decades, the procurement of public services (like water supply, public transportation, waste disposal, and beyond, education, research and health, etc.) has been engaged in a process of intensive changes, both in developed and less-developed countries. Both at the local and national levels, public authorities have been willing to introduce new regulatory regimes and to modify the procurement procedures in order to allow private sector participation and improve performances. Thinking about those issues is high on the agenda of practitioners and policy-makers. At the same time, it has also generated a new stream of both theoretical and empirical research, which redefines our understanding of the limits between the public and the private spheres.

The objective of this workgroup is to confront the recent theoretical developments related to the design of efficient governances for public services to facts. Thus, we intend to provide fruitful discussions on issues such as:

  • the limits of Public-Private Partnerships;
  • the contractual design of public-private agreements;
  • the impact of the institutional framework on governance design (especially Common law vs. Civil Law countries);
  • the respective merits of delegation and PFI * the practicability and efficiency of alternative awarding mechanisms (namely auction and negotiation).

Since 2009, the SPOC research group is moved to the EPPP chair.