Administrative Contracts in General
This unit is intended to acquaint students with the nature generally of and the formation and object of administrative contracts. Administrative contracts are very much important in ETHIOPIA under current settings .some people say it is bad to have too much interference in the private sphere in the era of privatization. The government should regulate the market being another argument. Leaving aside the literary arguments, legally Ethiopia has devoted one title in its civil code to specifically deal with administrative contracts. In addition to this, we have procurement proclamation to enable equitable, efficient and effective procurement. In this section, we will have something to say on Ethiopian administrative contract.
At the end of the unit students will be able to
define administrative contracts
Ø form administrative contracts.
Ø distinguish administrative contracts from other types of contracts.
Ø understand the views the two prominent legal systems have towards administrative contracts
Ø Know the historical setting of administrative contracts.
1.1 Brief Genesis of Administrative Contracts
Though hard to locate the exact time, one can still validly locate philosophical and economic backgrounds of administrative contracts.
Back in the days of Adam Smith who preached the laissez faire argument with the effect of diametrically insulating the state from the market, the role of the state was exponentially limited to enabling the state to undertake only its “traditional” functions.
As per Adam Smith, the state was advised to let the market alone. The state should put its hands off the market but without forgetting to create internal peace and order, facilitating the market by formulating a peaceful environment and without directly intervening in the market. To this end, the state should establish institutions like the police, courts and parliaments. Such an impact on the economy as caused by leaving the market alone however would not outlive such a condition as the Great Depression. The Great Depression proved the fact that markets cannot operate by their forces alone-rather to some extent the state should regulate the market. Next generation political economists devised the WELFARE state where we have a state which regulates the market- that provides public services such as education ,health, transport, water, light ,sanitation, recreation etc.
Thus, apart from its traditional functions, the state was also conferred with those additional functions listed above. Basically the state used to institutionalize its coercived force to carry out its protection function. But with the growth in the type and nature of functions and because the appropriate way of attaining goals as the case may be is entering into contract. Either by its coercive force or its right to enter in to contract the state strives to carry out its ever growing functions.
To this end of utilizing its contracting capacity, government enters into a special type of contract called administrative contract. Note that it is from this background, apart from other things, that administrative contracts derive their peculiar feature.