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Deus Ex Machina? journal article

Some Remarks on Public Procurement in the Second Machine Age

Paweł Nowicki

European Procurement & Public Private Partnership Law Review, Volume 15 (2020), Issue 1, Page 53 - 60

The ‘Second Machine Age’ is a term created by two MIT professors, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, and means the time of emerging technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, neurotechnology, biotechnology, virtual reality, Big Data, Internet of Things, blockchain, etc. Emerging technologies are seemingly not related to law, and in particular to public procurement law, but enter into complex relationships with legal regulation. This paper aims to introduce both the opportunities and challenges that some of these technologies (AI, blockchain, smart contracts) create for public procurement praxis, showing that it’s not deus ex machina. New technologies will undoubtedly enrich and improve the public procurement system, but they also raise legitimate ethical and legal concerns. Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Machine learning; Blockchain; Smart contracts; Future of public procurement; Digitalisation.


The Implementation of Decentralised Ledger Technologies for Public Procurement journal article

Blockchain-based Smart Public Contracts

Sergi Nin Sánchez

European Procurement & Public Private Partnership Law Review, Volume 14 (2019), Issue 3, Page 180 - 196

In the context of the digital transformation of the European economy and society, new technologies have emerged bringing new opportunities for the benefit of citizens, public administrations and businesses. One of these is the Blockchain-based smart contracts rooted in what is known as Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs). This article aims to provide an overview of how DLTs could be successfully implemented in the governance of public procurement, as well as discussing some legal challenges that might appear. Taking into account the proof of concept of all the existing projects in this field, DLTs promise to provide procuring with a high level of transparency, integrity, autonomy, and overall speed-up procurement cycles. While the architecture of a Blockchain-based public procurement scheme is constrained by the immaturity of the technology, it is observed that the establishment of private ledgers (or public-permissioned ledgers) in tender procedures might be more suitable to public procurement. Although the process of implementation might be costly and less feasible in comparison with other fields in the public sector, initiatives focusing on this area should be endorsed. Ultimately, the successful implementation of DLTs in the governance of public procurement is inconceivable without a far-reaching professionalisation of procurement practitioners. Keywords: Blockchain; Smart Public Contracts; Artificial Intelligence; Digital Governance; Distributed Ledger Technology; Digital Procurement.

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