Committee on Government Procurement - Report (2020) of the Committee on Government Procurement



1.1.  This Annual Report is issued pursuant to Article IV:8 of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Article XXI:3 of the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) as amended by the Protocol Amending the Agreement on Government Procurement, done at Geneva on 30 March 2012 (the "revised Agreement" or "revised GPA") and Article XXIV:7(a) of the 1994 Agreement on Government Procurement ("the 1994 Agreement" or "the GPA 1994").[1]

1.2.  This Report covers the period since the Committee's previous Annual Report (2019)[2], i.e. from the beginning of December 2019 to the end of November 2020. Despite the particular circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee had a productive year. Since the date of circulation of its previous Annual Report, the Committee held four formal meetings: on 26 February 2020; on 21 July 2020; on 7 October 2020 and on 26 November 2020.[3] The meetings were chaired by Mr Carlos Vanderloo (Canada).[4] Immediately following each formal meeting (with the exception of the year-end meeting), the Committee also held a series of informal meetings, equally chaired by Mr Vanderloo, focusing on the entry into force and implementation of the revised Agreement, accessions to the Agreement, the Committee's agreed Work Programmes, and other matters. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions, the meetings in the second half of the year were held in virtual format, either exclusively or together with the possibility for Geneva-based delegates to attend the meeting.

1.3.  Among other highlights, the Committee notes that Switzerland, the only Party yet to ratify the revised GPA, completed its internal work in this respect, clearing the way for the deposit of its instrument of acceptance in late 2020. It also notes the application of Brazil for accession to the GPA lodged in the course of the year and the progress achieved with respect to ongoing work on accessions to the Agreement by several WTO Members, in particular the adoption of a further Committee Decision adapting the timeline for the United Kingdom's accession in its own right to the Agreement after the end of the transition period agreed between the European Union and the United Kingdom.[5] In addition, Côte d'Ivoire joined the Committee as an observer, making it the third African economy to do so. The Committee also decided to organize its first-ever information-sharing workshop and agreed on the topics. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the date for the workshop had to be postponed to 2021. Additional work was also done with respect to the Committee's agreed Work Programmes on (i) Sustainable Procurement, (ii) the Collection and Reporting of Statistical Data, and (iii) Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).[6]

[1] The 1994 Agreement and the revised Agreement are hereafter referred to together as the "Agreement on Government Procurement" or "GPA" or "Agreement". The reference to both the 1994 Agreement and the revised GPA reflects the entry into force of the revised Agreement on 6 April 2014 and the fact that one Party continued to be bound only by the 1994 Agreement. See, for relevant details, Section 2.1 below.

[2] _GPA/AR/2

[3] _GPA/M/78, _GPA/M/79, and _GPA/M/80

[4] At its formal meeting of 26 February 2020, the Committee re-elected Mr Vanderloo as Chair for 2020 _GPA/M/78, para. 1.2.

[5] See, for relevant details, Section 3.1.1 below. The United Kingdom also joined the Committee as an observer. See _GPA/151.

[6] See, for relevant details, Section 4 below.