Three Positives Make One Negative: Public Sector IS Procurement

  • Aki Alanne
  • Pasi Hellsten
  • Samuli Pekkola
  • Iiris Saarenpää
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9248)


The requirement specifications are centric in the IS acquisition process, also in public sector. In addition to the regulatory factors multiple stakeholders are often involved in the procurement process. Yet their expertise varies and is often limited to a narrow sector or a specific field. For this paper, we conducted a single case study on an IS acquisition in a middle-sized city. The function nominated a project manager for the project, with little if any prior experience of IS or of their acquisition. The counterpart in the CIO’s office had that knowledge but had little domain knowledge about the requirements. The third party involved was the Procurement and Tendering office. Having specialized in serving the variety of functions in that particular field, the specific areas become inevitably omitted. All three parties argued that their requirements specifications were good, if not great. We observed how such a trident, having reported successful completion of their duties, still missed the point. The tendering resulted in little short of a disaster; two projects were contested, and lost in the market court.


Public sector procurement Information systems procurement Case study 



Special thanks to our interviewees at the municipality and friends and colleagues for their constructive comments. The study was partly funded by Tekes - Finnish Funding Agency for Innovations and participating organizations, partly by Academy of Finland, grant #259831.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aki Alanne
    • 1
  • Pasi Hellsten
    • 1
  • Samuli Pekkola
    • 1
  • Iiris Saarenpää
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information Management and LogisticsTampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland

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