Analyzing Public Procurement Risks: Training manual

The main purpose of the manual is to introduce how data analytics can encourage good governance practices by highlighting the weaknesses of public procurement systems and by supporting independent corruption risk research. To achieve this, the document gives a step-by-step introduction to the analytical process of large-scale public procurement datasets. First, it briefly introduces the conceptual background of a generic public procurement process, while also highlighting its potential corruption risks. Second, it presents the most important aspects of creating an …

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Countering Public Grant Fraud in Spain: Machine Learning for Assessing Risks and Targeting Control Activities

OECD (2021), Countering Public Grant Fraud in Spain: Machine Learning for Assessing Risks and Targeting Control Activities, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/0ea22484-en.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, marked by a high volume of accelerated spending, fraud risks have become a pressing concern for governments worldwide. In this environment, public control and audit bodies play a vital role to ensure money is well spent and vulnerabilities are spotted and addressed quickly. In Spain, the General Comptroller …

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Public procurement under and after emergencies

Fazekas, M., Nishchal, S. and Søreide, T. (2021): Public procurement under and after emergencies. In Bandiera, O., Bosio, E. and Spagnolo, G. (Ed.), Procurement in Focus – Rules, Discretion, and Emergencies. London: CEPR Press. pp.33-42. 

Covid-19 has served as a global case study for increased discretion in public procurement, with governments worldwide making rules more flexible to increase spending, reduce the damage, and save lives. This CEPR eBook provides fascinating insights into the tension between rules and discretion in public …

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Can impact assessments tame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe

Brenner, D., & Fazekas, M. (2021). Can impact assessmentstame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe.Governance,1–25. https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12649

Laws should endure and change only if assumed benefits don’t materialize over time. Yet frequent modifications of laws shortly after their enactment distort this compromise between stability and change. While, Impact Assessments (IAs) are designed to improve the quality of legislation, we know little about IAs’ impact on legal stability post-enactment. We fill this gap by analysing whether the …

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The extra-legal governance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement

Fazekas, M., Sberna, S., & Vannucci, A. (2021). The extra-legalgovernance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement. Governance,1–23. https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12648

This article traces the organization of corruption in public procurement, by theoretically and empirically assessing the contribution of extra-legal governance organizations (EGO) to supporting it. Theoretically, we explore the governance role played by organized criminal groups in corruption networks, facilitating corrupt transactions by lowering search costs, bargaining costs, and enforcement cots. Empirically, the analysis exploits a rare empirical …

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COVID-19 emergency public procurement in Romania: Corruption risks and market behavior

Abdou, A., Czibik, Á., Tóth, B. and Fazekas, M. (2021): COVID-19 emergency public procurement in Romania: Corruption risks and market behavior. GTI-WP/2021:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The aim of this research is to track corruption risks affecting the Romanian public procurement system
during the COVID-19 emergency. We develop a composite Corruption Risk Index (CRI) to track public procurement contracting risks in Romania in the period from 2015 to 2021. We find that the emergency context exposed the procurement process to …

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Are Emerging Technologies Helping Win the Fight Against Corruption? A Review of the State of Evidence

Adam, I. and Fazekas, M (2021): Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption? A review of the state of evidence. Information Economics and Policy. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infoecopol.2021.100950

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often thought of as a uniformly positive tool making governments more transparent, accountable, and less corrupt. However, the evidence on it is mixed and often misunderstood. Hence, this article carries out a systematic stocktaking of ICT tools’ impact on corruption, offering a nuanced and context-dependent …

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Measuring Regional Quality of Government: The Public Spending Quality Index Based on Government Contracting Data

Czibik, Á. and Fazekas, M (2021): Measuring regional quality of government: the public spending quality index based on government contracting data. RSA Regional Studies Association. Available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00343404.2021.1902975

Government contracting is crucial for defining the quality of government and public services because it amounts to about 29% of government spending. However, regional quality of government indicators, especially for public spending, are largely missing. We assess the quality of public spending by transparency, competition, efficiency and corruption using a novel database …

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Gender in European Public Procurement: Extent, Distribution, and Impacts

Fazekas, M., Kazmina, Y. and Wachs, J. (2020). Gender in European Public Procurement: Extent, Distribution, and Impacts. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2020.

A crucially under-documented gender gap is the difference in public procurement spending that flows to companies led or owned by men vs. women. The role of gender in public procurement is of wide interest given that public procurement represents about a third of government spending in OECD countries. As country-level gender data on labour force participation …

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Objective corruption risk indicators using Low and Middle Income Country datasets

Regös, N. & Fazekas, M. (2021). Objective corruption risk indicators using Low and Middle Income Country datasets. GTI-R/2021:01, Budapest, Government Transparency Institute, August 2021.

In 2018 global public procurement spend was $11 trillion, accounting for 12% of global GDP (Djankov et al, 2020). This indicates that to prevent deliberate (fraud, corruption) or unintentional (waste, inefficiency) misuse of public resources through overpriced, delayed or low quality public works, goods or services is essential to avoid significant negative impact on social welfare,

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