International procurement

This material is to inform the reader about matters they might need to consider when undertaking international procurement and to allow their own decision making. The content is for reference purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon by the reader as professional advice or judgement.

Why procurement matters

The government's Infrastructure and Projects Authority provides the following guidance on good procurement:


'Procurement is a dynamic process that sources the best value solution to a requirement through the sustainable allocation of risk between a client organisation and its supply chain. Procurement exists to explore the market opportunities and to implement strategies that deliver the best possible outcome to the organisation, its stakeholders and its customers.


Procurement can be defined as:

“...the business management function that ensures identification, sourcing, access and management of the external resources that an organisation needs or may need to fulfil its strategic objectives”.

The Chartered Institute of Purchase and Supply


Characteristics of good procurement

Good procurement: 

  • fosters and supports strategic ongoing or early engagement to encourage market capability development; 
  • enables a client and the supply chain to fully appreciate the risks related to the delivery of the requirements; 
  • is based on understanding of the shared drivers. This will enable the client and the supply chain to work towards better alignment and thus engender a truly collaborative relationship; 
  • recognises that there is always likely to be shared reputation benefits, risk and reward; 
  • adopts and complies with a clear and transparent process;  
  • supports the overall execution strategy and client model.'

Source: Improving Infrastructure Delivery: Project Initiation Routemap Procurement Module, Infrastructure and Projects Authority

This section is maintained by Tom Brancati and Adam Golden of Mott MacDonald.