It is sufficient to see how Wikipedia describes Procurement to understand why Wikipedia should never be quoted in serious deliberations. And why Procurement is so misunderstood.

Wikipedia’s Procurement page is heavily embedded with excerpts from various publications, some of which are cited nowhere but on Wikipedia. Probably, by the authors themselves, to promote their own works.

The page has a section called “Disadvantages of Public Procurement”. For a burst of good laughter, here are some of the quotes from that section:

“One issue of public procurement is the inability of governments to measure economic productivity, because as the size of public procurement systems substantially grows, so do their complexity and influence.”

So, because some governments are unable to measure economic productivity – the guilty side is public procurement. Hence, this is brought as a disadvantage of public procurement.

Another funny part:

“Public procurement is heavily embedded in all forms of public sector goods and services, from health care to road maintenance. Thus, making it incredibly difficult for the government to monitor the impacts, positive or negative. Monitoring public spending and its impact is important to reform public procurement, especially when pending economic instability calls for proactive responses.”

Remember, we are still in the section called “Disadvantages of Public Procurement”.

One of the most bizarre and puzzling statements in that section is below:

“In some cases, if a nation is extremely impoverished, it may not have the necessary funds or a large enough private sector to even procure companies to issue the goods or services to the people. Thus, omitting public procurement as a potential governing practice.”

Is omitting public procurement a disadvantage of public procurement? How can omitting something be a disadvantage of that very thing?

And, probably, the most irrelevant part in that section is the following:

“Another concern with public procurement is corruption; companies have much to gain from bribing public officials to obtain these procurements. In societies where corruption is endemic and enforcement is low, public officials are incentivized to accept bribes due to either necessity or greed.”

A silent shoulder shrug, or rather face palm emoji would be very relevant here. Does the author offer to abolish open and transparent tenders and award contracts directly to avoid corruption? Corruption is equally a problem in corporate procurement, legal system, law enforcement, healthcare, insurance, education and in many other spheres. Shall we then create a section called “Disadvantages of Education” on Wikipedia?

Anything on our planet, any system, any approach, any mechanism can have disadvantages. It is, however, hard to imagine a more irrelevant list of disadvantages attributed to public procurement than the one on Wikipedia’s Procurement page.

While Wikipedia is a fantastic tool, anyone can contribute to Wikipedia and edit articles, regardless of experience, knowledge, manners, principles, or ethics. Speaking of disadvantages, this is probably Wikipedia’s biggest disadvantage.

Having said this, we are certainly going to contribute to Wikipedia, by trying to keep it relevant and helpful.

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