Directorate for Public Governance

Public Procurement in Germany

Strategic Dimensions for Well-being and Growth

In series:OECD Public Governance Reviewsview more titles

Published on August 26, 2019

Also available in: German

As the largest economy in Europe, Germany has a massive public procurement market, accounting for around 15% of GDP (EUR 500 billion) per year and affecting many areas of the economy and society. This review analyses public procurement's impact on the well-being of Germany's citizens by focusing on six areas: economic impact and beyond, the legal and governance framework, centralisation, e-procurement, strategic procurement and human capital. In addition, it analyses procurement at subnational level, since almost 80% of procurement in Germany is conducted by Länder and local governments.


Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive summary
The impact of public procurement in Germany: Economic effects and beyond
Enhancing the legal framework and governance structure for public procurement in Germany
Strategic centralisation of procurement to maximise economic benefits in Germany
Electronic procurement in Germany
The use of strategic procurement in Germany
The human resource capital of the German public procurement system
Powered by OECD iLibrary

Public procurement represents a large part of the economy in Germany

EUR 500 billion


15% of GDP


35% of government spending

With such amounts involved, public procurement can play an important role in shaping society and affect citizen’s well-being. This is why analyses of public procurement need to go beyond spending. In particular, Germany could increase data gathering and measurement of public procurement’s impact on four dimensions of future well-being: social, environmental, economic and human capitals:

Germany review - figure of the 4 capitals


Since "What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done", the OECD compiled a set of indicators to measure the impact of public procurement (See Table 1.2).

Key Recommendations

Germany’s 2016 public procurement reform changed profoundly the procurement system at all levels of government. It significantly streamlined the legal framework, and aligned Germany’s system with the new EU directives on procurement. More can be done to maximise the potential of public procurement:

  • Track the impact of public procurement on the four capitals for future well-being (social, natural, economic, human)
  • Further streamline the legal framework
  • Use bundling more strategically and systematically
  • Continue developing the e-procurement system
  • Align strategies for sustainability and public procurement practices
  • Invest in professionalisation of public procurers




*Bundling: combining two or more procurement needs previously provided or performed under separate smaller contracts into a solicitation for a single contract)


For more information, contact the Public Procurement Unit: