Position Paper: Maintaining Procurement Principles as Technology Advances

This position paper explores the importance of maintaining principles in the procurement profession and the challenges presented by an ever-changing technological environment. Technology is, overall, having a positive impact on public procurement operations, especially in the advancement of e-procurement. However, there are also limitations to consider, including the fact that technology has the potential to enable shortcuts or remove professional judgment at particular steps, which could lead to several risks, including fraud. As advances in technology permeate procurement activities, procurement professionals need to understand the potential implications of technology when it's utilized in their organization's procurement systems. Implementing procurement solutions that are technology-based will not change underlying laws or policies, just processes. In order to preserve the integrity of the procurement process, procurement professionals need to closely examine all changes to ensure that processes strengthen procurement values, including remaining fair and inclusive. This paper examines the potential implications of an e-procurement process and outlines steps for procurement professionals to take when adapting from a manual to a technologically-driven process that maintains the integrity of the procurement profession.