Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Complex Contracting - Book review

Brown, et al. (2013) have pulled off a remarkable coup with this book in that it provides something of real value for procurement practitioners, those managing and leading major projects, academia and students. It is easy to read too and virtually free of jargon.
But what is meant by ‘complex contracting’? This is a book about contracting in uncertainty when there is a requirement for a level of buyer and seller investment that makes exit difficult. It is the degree of uncertainty that makes a contract complex, not the size of the budget.  The book will be relevant to all those contracting in “the fog of uncertainty” (p.49).
It deals with the US Coast Guard’s approach to using a new integrated strategic approach to procuring, over 30 years with an anticipated expenditure of $24bn, boats, planes, helicopters and an IT system. An exceptionally ambitious undertaking, with a steep learning curve and, as almost every aspect of the procurement was new for both the buyers and the providers, significant risk.
N.B This is an extract from my full review which can be read in Local Government Studies.

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