Traditionally, the administrative roles assumed by public procurement specialists have been delineated within a framework shaped by procurement ordinances. In the past decade, however, in part due to the changing nature of governance, matters have changed rather significantly. Public procurement is no longer considered a “back office” enterprise and has surfaced as a critical strategic administrative area. Governments at all levels have come to note the significant implications associated with procurement, both as an administrative function and as a policy mechanism. The field as a whole has also been targeted by heavy professionalization efforts.
Taken together, these forces have set the background for a new, importantly different, set of demands now routinely imposed on procurement specialists. Within the context of these conditions, public procurement specialists are often expected to assume roles that go beyond the traditional ones. Some of these roles might place procurement specialists outside their comfort zones, which are outlined by their past experiences and training.
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