Public Procurement Research Group

Past PhD Theses

Procurement procedures under the Private Finance Initiative: the operation of the new legal framework

By Dr Richard Craven

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Professor David Fraser

Date of viva: 7 February 2012

Richard's thesis investigates the application of the new 'competitive dialogue' procedure in the EC public procurement rules to projects tendered under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

The thesis' aim is to examine the way in which the new legal framework for competitive dialogue is applied to PFI projects in the UK, and actors' perceptions of that framework. It identifies: perceived positive aspects of the framework in facilitating best practice; perceived problems, including any legal uncertainty and constraints on best practice; strategies to conduct the process within the constraints; and the factors that influence compliance and approach to legal risk.

Fighting Corruption in public procurement: A comparative analysis of disqualification measures

By Dr Sope Williams

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith

Date of viva: 9 December 2011

Dr Sope Williams' thesis examines the exclusion of contractors who have been involved in or are guilty of corruption offences from public contracts by comparing five jurisdictions: the EU, the US, the World Bank, South Africa and the UK. It is argued that such exclusions are problematic for several reasons, such as the delays and burdens that such exclusions place on the procurement process, as well as the likely effects of such exclusions on competition, especially in consolidated markets. In addition, it is difficult to measure whether such exclusions have any impact on corruption.

The Impact of the EC Procurement Rules on Corporate Responsibility in the Supply Chain: a Study of Utilities

By Dr Eleanor Aspey

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Professor David Fraser and Frances Darton of Achilles Information Ltd

Date of viva: 5 December 2011

Dr Eleanor's thesis examines the effect of the EC procurement legislation on the implementation of corporate social responsibility policies by the UK utilities.

The thesis aims to discover any problems and uncertainties in the area of Corporate Responsibility in the Supply Chain within utilities caused by the EC rules, any positive benefits of the rules on designing corporate social responsibility policies and the response of the utility sector in practice. The thesis involves legal analysis of the relevant EC rules and empirical research, interviewing those responsible for implementing CSR policies in a sample of UK utilities. Her research was funded by the ESRC and Achilles Information Ltd.

The Law of Collaborative Defence Procurement through International Organisations in the European Union

Full text available

By Dr Baudouin Heuninckx

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Dr. Aris Georgopoulos from the University of Nottingham, and Professor Françoise Thomas from the Belgian Royal Military Academy

Date of viva: 6 July 2011

Dr Baudouin Heuninckx's thesis focuses on the law applicable to collaborative defence procurement in Europe. It analyses the impact of European Union Law on the procurement rules of international organisations in the field of defence and the coherence of such rules with European Union Law, and identifies options for developing these rules to enhance the single market for collaborative defence procurement. For these purposes, it considers the most recent developments in European Union Public Procurement Law as they apply to collaborative defence procurement, as well as the relationship between international organisation and European Union Law

The influence of EC public procurement law on the procurement systems of Member States

By Dr Sylvia de Mars

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith

Date of viva: 13 December 2010

Dr Sylvia de Mars' thesis examines the manner and extent to which EU regulation of public procurement has influenced the regulation of public procurement in Member States, including the extent to which this has led to a more uniform approach in the Member States, through a case study of three procurement systems - the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.

The Assessment of Competitive Dialogue's Impact both in Portugal and Spain

By Dr Pedro Telles

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Professor David Fraser

Date of viva: 8 December 2010

Dr Pedro Telles' thesis involves the assessment of competitive dialogue's impact both in Portugal and Spain, encompassing a legal analysis of applicable national rules and qualitative research with agents involved in the competitive dialogue's effective application on the aforementioned countries, in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of competitive dialogue in both jurisdictions.

The Adequacy of the European Union Rules on the Use of Electronic Reverse Auctions in Regulated Procurement

By Dr Ama Eyo

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Professor David Fraser

Date of viva: March 2009

Dr Ama Eyo's thesis assesses the adequacy of the EU legal rules on electronic auctions for public and utilities procurement. The project involves both a legal analysis of the EU rules and qualitative research with selected subjects from within the United Kingdom. It is expected that the findings from the research could help inform how regulation on the issue should be approached and may assist other jurisdictions seeking to regulate the use of electronic reverse auctions in public procurement.

The Use of Soft law as a Method for Regulating Procurement from a Trade Perspective

By Dr Lili Jiang

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Professor Mary Footer

Date of viva: December 2009

Dr Lili Jiang's thesis evaluates the use of soft law as a method for regulating procurement from a trade perspective. By using a theoretical legal analysis of the use of soft law instruments in the area of public procurement, she seeks to provide detailed evaluation of current soft law procurement instruments, focusing on techniques. This involves a contrast between soft law approaches and hard law approaches within the current international procurement instruments to see what soft law can better offer than hard law, and also involves comparing different techniques employed by different soft law regimes in the context of international procurement law.

A Supplier Review System as part of the Government Procurement System for China

Full text available

By Dr Xingling Zhang

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Dr Ping Wang

Date of viva: December 2009

Dr Xingling Zhang's thesis looks at the construction of a supplier remedies system in China based on international standards. The research critically analyses the current Chinese supplier review system in the field of government procurement law and makes proposals for its improvement.

Public Procurement of State Enterprises under the WTO and in China

By Dr Ping Wang

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith

Date of viva: 19 February 2007

Dr Ping Wang's thesis offers a critical examination of the effectiveness of international trade rules and the domestic law of a key WTO member with a large state sector, namely China, in regulating procurement of state enterprises. The research question addressed by this thesis is to elucidate the current legal framework for regulating procurement of state enterprises under WTO Agreements and Chinese domestic law, to highlight any problem with this framework, and to identify possible options for improving the regulation.

Public Procurement and Tied Aid in the European Union: A Crytical Analysis of the Legal Framework

By Dr Annamaria La Chimia

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith

Date of viva: 21 June 2006

Dr Annamaria La Chimia's thesis provides a critical examination of the legality of practice of tied aid in the EU Member States, under regional and international trade rules. It focuses on the question of the compatibility of tied aid practices with EC rules and principles and with the international legal instruments relevant for the EU, such as the WTO Agreements. The thesis is based on the premise that tying of aid is a problem that needs to be addressed, and the analysis elucidates the legal tools to help address the problem by identifying the legal rules that are relevant, by considering how they apply to tied aid, and by highlighting where amendments may be needed to limit the practice of tied aid by using legally binding international and regional instruments. Two European countries are taken as examples in order to provide a practical illustration of the real world scenarios the law must deal with, namely Italy and United Kingdom

The World Bank Procurement Regulations: A Critical Analysis of the Enforcement Provisions and the Application of Secondary Policies in Financed Projects

Full text available

By Dr Marta Meireles

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith

Date of viva: 25 May 2006

Dr Marta Meireles' thesis offers a critical examination of two important aspects of the World Bank procurement system, namely the possibility for supplier review, and the implementation of secondary policies. Her examination of these topics provides a case study of the peculiar dimensions and difficulties created by the complex interaction between the international and national levels in donor-financed procurement.

European Defence Procurement Integration: Proposals for Action within the European Union

By Dr Aris Georgopoulos

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Dr Martin Trybus

Date of viva: 8 April 2004

Dr Aris Georgopoulos's thesis argued that the creation of a European Defence Procurement Market is a necessary condition for the effectiveness and credibility of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Such a market requires EU action and participation of the largest possible number of Member States. Finally acknowledging that the European Defence procurement process should at least in principle be inclusive and try to address the sometimes different level of security concerns of the Member States, the thesis proposes for a three stages approach which focuses on the ways in which the integration process can gain a broader support on the part of the Member States. The thesis received the ‘Special Distinction’ as part of the Thesis Prize of the European Group of Public Law 2004.

The Effectiveness of Bidder Remedies for Enforcing the EC Public Procurement Rules: a Case Study of the Public Works Sector in the United Kingdom and Greece

Full text available

By Dr Despina Pachnou

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith, Professor Paul Roberts and Dr. Martin Trybus

Date of viva: 4 March 2003

Dr Despina Pachnou's thesis offers an empirical analysis of the use of supplier remedies to enforce EC procurement rules and the reasons for the use/non-use of these remedies, focusing on the construction sector in the UK and Greece.

The Practical Impact of EU Public Procurement Law on PFI Procurement Practice in the United Kingdom

Full text available

By Dr Peter Braun

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith and Professor Paul Roberts

Date of viva: October 2001

Dr Peter Braun's thesis provides a socio-legal study of the application of the EC procurement rules to PFI projects in the UK, looking at the way in which affected parties respond to legal rule when these do not match commercial reality.

The Prospects for the World Trade Organisation Agreement of Government Procurement

By Dr Arwel Davies 

Supervised by Professor Sue Arrowsmith

Date of submission: 21 February 2000

Dr Arwel Davies' thesis focused on the Uruguay Round WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, which had then recently entered into force. The thesis analysed the prospects for the Agreement's success with reference to the issue of limited membership, the possibility of private anti-competitive behaviour undermining the Agreement's objectives  and enforcement and remedies. 


Public Procurement Research Group

School of Law
Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 951 5700