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Authors: Sriram Rajagopalan (Greatlakes Institute of Management, India), venkataraghavan krishnaswamy (Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur)
A key aspect of public procurement is sustainability. Government across the world are seized with the issue of sustainability. The UK Environment Department states that ‘Sustainable Procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organization, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimizing damage to the environment. In the context of public procurement, Researchers identified that sustainable procurement in its various guises is a policy objective in public procurement and is the pursuit of sustainability objectives in the purchasing and supply process. Public procurement is a major economic stimulus and organizations involved in public procurement can enforce sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. For example, literature in manufacturing contexts has shown positive results for the environments as a result of communication and collaboration between partners. Further studies on the theme of “Sustainability and E-Procurement Systems” is scant and relationships between E-Procurement Systems and Sustainable procurement is unknown.
In the context of India, a research work studied disclosure practices relating to sustainability in public procurement in central public sector enterprises (CPSE’s) without dwelling upon E-Procurement aspects. Public procurement accounts for 15% of world’s GDP, and in India, its varies between 20%-30% of its GDP as per UNODC reports. Recognizing the need for better management of public procurement, the Government of India (GOI) has been actively promoting the use of e-procurement system (EPS). GOI has established two EPS namely https://www.eprocure.gov.in/cppp/ (EPROCURE) and https://gem.gov.in/ (GEM) for the use of various ministries, department and autonomous bodies functioning under the federal or provincial governments. Statistics from EPROCURE indicate an upward trend from $12.73 Bn in 2012-13 to $83.87 Bn in 2015-16. The uptake from GEM for an eight-month period since its deployment in August 2016 was $0.07 Bn. At $84 Bn after five years, only 19% of public procurement is processed through EPROCURE and GEM. This is in spite of the mandate of e-procurement described in the General Financial Rules, by the Department of Expenditure (GOI).
In summary, the key gaps in literature, which I propose to address in the project with specific reference to India are Adoption issues related to E-Procurement Systems in public e-procurement and The role of E-Procurement Systems in promoting sustainability in public e-procurement. There are several possible ways to address the gaps above. They require detailed investigation. For example, it is an established concept in IT literature that “perceived usefulness (PU),” “perceived ease of use (PE)” and “facilitating conditions (FC)” act as key drivers of system adoption. Another possible approach using the Design Science Research principles