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Year-End Spending Spikes and Single Bid Procedures: An Analysis of Public Procurement in the European Economic Area

Ryan J. Lofaro, Emily A. Boykin, Clifford P. McCue & Eric Prier
PFM, Vol. 21 No. 2, 135-166 (2023)

There is limited research examining the presence of government year-end spending spikes (YESS) and their association with full and open competition in government contracting. Using procurement data from 31 countries in the European Economic Area from 2009 to 2018, this research assesses the relationship between YESS and non-competitive procurement procedures – operationalized as single bid procurements. Panel regression models with country and year fixed effects are used to find that, relative to earlier periods, total award values increased in the final quarter (116.6%) and month (72.6%) of the fiscal year. While significantly associated with YESS (1.82% increase in proportion of single bids in the final quarter and 0.9% increase in the final month), single bid contracting practices did not drive such spikes.

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