公共工事調達における競争制限の「合理性」――なぜ日本の行政組織は応札数抑制を試みるのか――  [in Japanese] The Positive Aspects of Reduced Competitiveness: Why Do Japanese Procurement Authorities Tend to Restrict the Number of Bids during Competitive Bidding  [in Japanese]

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Abstract

<p>日本では1990年代以降,入札の競争性向上を目的とした公共調達制度改革が進行した。しかし国士交通省直轄工事入札における一件当たり応札数は減少傾向にあり,入札の顕在的競争性は低く保たれている。なぜ行政組織は,改革下でもなおこうした制度運用を行うのか。本稿では,むしろ応札数の増大に合理性を見出す多くの先行研究が問題外としてきた「制度運用の取引費用」に焦点を当てることで,手続的合理性の観点から応札数抑制の優位性を検討する。公共工事調達は,低価格・高品質の追求という目標を伴った,事業者選定を巡る行政組織の意思決定活動である。だが,これらトレードオフ関係にある二目標を同時に考慮し,両者の適切なバランスのもとに唯一最適の事業者を決定するには膨大な取引費用がかかり,現実上の行政組織がこれを負担するのは難しい。しかし,事業者の施主能力をふまえた品質判断に基づいて参入可能な事業者を限定し,それを通過した事業者間で競争入札を行わせる,つまり,まずは品質・次に価格といった形で両価値を逐次的に扱えば,意思決定にかかる取引費用は削減される。即ち応札数抑制は,低価格・高品質という目標を同時に追求することの難しさを緩和するための戦略がとられていることの表出として説明され,このとき,事業者選定の手続的合理性は向上していると推論される。なお以上の妥当性は,国士交通省直轄工事の入札結果データを用いた計量分析によって,実証された。</p>

<p>This paper explores why Japanese public procurement authorities tend to restrict the number of bids during competitive bidding. It demonstrates that this practice can be explained as a strategy to ease authorities' search for a satisficing best bid.</p><p>In Japan, public procurement reforms have progressed since the 1990s. Authorities have improved the competitiveness of the bidding process for public works. However, the average number of bids per competitive bidding event for public construction works ordered by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism decreased annually after 2005, which appears that the competitiveness of the bidding process has been kept low. Why do authorities restrict the number of bids even as they attempt to enhance the competitiveness of the bidding process? What, if any, are the positive aspects of restricting the number of bids? This paper considers these points from the perspective of the transaction costs that authorities must bear when they operate public procurement systems; previous studies have often ignored this, focusing instead on the benefits (e.g., the economic efficiency of the winning bid) of <i>increasing</i> the number of bids.</p><p>Public procurement can be regarded as a decision-making activity wherein authorities decide which contractor should receive a certain construction contract. In this context, authorities seek low-cost, high-quality work. Considering authorities' bounded rationality, it is too costly for them to evaluate trade-offs between their values and determine the best balance between them.</p><p>However, considering each value separately in a pre-selected order (quality first and price second) reduces the information costs of decision-making. This eases authorities' search for contractors who offer satisficing low-price and high-quality work; this search usually occurs in the following manner. First, authorities restrict the number of bids by establishing the qualification criteria. These are based on contractors' past performance or their ability to prevent less skilled contractors from participating in the bidding process. Then, contractors who have passed this first stage submit competitive bids, and authorities accept the most economical bid. This process was tested by regression analysis using publicly available data regarding public construction works ordered by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.</p><p>Accordingly, restricting the number of bids is a strategy that should reduce the transaction costs that public procurement authorities bear when they operate public procurement systems and pursue both low-cost and high-quality work.</p>

Journal

  • Journal of Public Policy Studies

    Journal of Public Policy Studies 20(0), 162-177, 2020

    Public Policy Studies Association Japan

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