The text of the agreement contains rules to ensure an open, fair and transparent playing field in public procurement. However, these rules do not automatically apply to all procurement activities of each party. Rather, coverage plans play a crucial role in determining whether or not a procurement activity is covered by the agreement. Only procurement activities carried out by the companies concerned that purchase listed goods, services or works of a value above the established thresholds are covered by the agreement. These schedules are accessible to the public here. To be covered by the GPA, public procurement must meet minimum value thresholds. These vary according to the type of contracting entity and the contract. The current thresholds can be found in the table of thresholds published by the WTO (off-site link). International intergovernmental organizations shall be granted observer status in the GPA Committee If a signatory Government considers that its rights under this Agreement are revoked or affected by another Signatory, it may request the opening of WTO dispute settlement procedures to resolve the matter.
The WTO dispute settlement procedure is described in the Exporter`s Guide to the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding. If a supplier believes that there has been a breach of this Agreement, it is encouraged to enter into consultations with the procuring entity in order to resolve the issue. If such consultations lead to a satisfactory outcome, each signatory government is required to present non-discriminatory, timely, transparent and effective procedures that would allow suppliers to challenge alleged violations of the agreement. Suppliers may be asked to initiate a challenge procedure within a certain period of time (at least 10 days) from the date on which the basis of the complaint was known. Disputes must be heard before an impartial independent tribunal or oversight body that has no interest in the outcome of the contract. Challenge procedures must be completed „promptly“. The fundamental objective of the GPA is to open up public procurement between its parties. Following several rounds of negotiations, the GPA parties have opened procurement activities worth an estimated $1.7 trillion each year to international competition (i.e., to suppliers of GPA parties offering goods, services or construction services). The accession process begins with the submission of an application for membership and has two main aspects: negotiations between the adhering member and the parties to the GPA on the offer of GPA coverage and verification of compliance of the adhering member`s procurement rules with the requirements of the GPA – for example, in terms of transparency, procedural fairness for suppliers and internal review. .