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Systemic risk in major public contracts

Bloomfield, Katherine; Williams, Terry; Bovis, Christopher; Merali, Yasmin


Katherine Bloomfield


This paper presents a novel approach to the characterisation of “systemic risk” in the context of public sector procurement and contracting. We argue that contemporary risk management practices in project and programme management exhibit a number of limitations; this is particularly relevant to public sector contracting which, the authors postulate, would benefit from more sophisticated practices that are capable of dealing with risk ‘systemicity’. Drawing on a sample of public sector procurement exercises commissioned by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the paper presents a multi-method approach positioned towards increasing our understanding of complex outsourcing contracts. The results suggest a need for more appropriate methods of risk analysis, and discusses the practical implications.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 30, 2018
Print ISSN 0169-2070
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Projects; Contracts; Systemic risk; Public sector; Front-end; Outsourcing
Publisher URL