In the ProCritS project we study the effects of public tendering on the resilience of critical services. Research activities include studies of competitive tendering within the Norwegian air medical transport system and for security and preparedness services in the city of Oslo and at Norwegian airports, as well as legal analysis of EU and Norwegian law. The research conducted in the project is contributing to new knowledge on how principles and standards with importance for societal safety can be specified and managed in public tenders, as well as how processes of competitive tendering in public procurement can be developed to accommodate societal safety as a combined effort across public and private organizations. By researching the reach of the possibility to cater for societal-critical functions within the ambit of EU/EAA procurement law the project is addressing a crucial element in the demarcation of the EEA-states room for manoeuvre.
Preliminary project findings show, among other, that for large public procurements the competition process can have an impact on provision of service in several ways. Among other, can the procurement process lead to safety and service being developed more stepwise. Related to society critical functions the byers competencies in societal safety and security will also be of importance, such as having a system perspective on risks and vulnerabilities. Procurement rules preventing “significant changes” during a contract period is also identified as challenge for byers, among other related to the uncertainties that are connected to safety as a performance goal and for developing relational governance strategies.
The project is a collaboration between safety researchers and legal scholars from the University of Stavanger, University of Oslo and NTNU Social Research. The project includes two Ph.D. projects and brings together an international network of research competence and professional expertise.
The ProCrits project will reveal the effects of tendering on the resilience of critical services. We will, include perspectives of law and economy, and the dynamics of the tendering process for the organizational qualities that are important for resilience. Even though procurement regulation recently was revised to take account of important societal values (environmental issues, social responsibility and worker rights, see Norwegian public procurement act §5), societal safety and inter-organizational collaboration remain absent in procurement regulation. Our project will enhance the understanding of conditions for and consequences of different models of coordination, policy instruments and management tools, and how private actors contribute to societal security. Specifically, the project will generate new in-depth knowledge in 1)transport of critically ill and 2)security and preparedness services. Knowledge generated in the project will be discussed with Norwegian policy makers and industry. Importantly, by combining law studies with specialists on organizational safety, linking empirical research results to legal analysis of international and Norwegian law, the project will develop knowledge with relevance for public procurement legislation and practices across sectors. Further, by including two PhD projects the project will contribute to further development establish a national research collaboration between UiS, UiO and NTNU Social research with a strong international network of research competence expertise within the field. and strengthen research collaboration between UiS, UiO and NTNU Social Research.