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Working paper

Estimation of Costs in the Russian Public Procurement System: A Case Study of Voronezh State University

The growing attention of governments, international organizations and NGOs to public procurement issues over the last two decades has been accompanied by many studies of the efficiency of public procurement. However, few researchers have considered the costs of procurement regulation for public customers and private suppliers. This problem is especially acute for the public procurement system in Russia. In this paper, taking into account recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report for European Commission, we propose an approach for measuring the procurement costs of public customers. We have tested this approach with data on a large Russian public customer — Voronezh State University (VSU). We show that the proposed approach is universal and can be applied at a micro-level by other public customers to measure the efficiency of their procurement and to optimize the costs. This approach can also be used as a basis for a larger inquiry into the costs and effectiveness of procurement at the level of regional authorities or ministries