Why is collecting and analysing data about public procurement so damned difficult? Data scientists explain some common problems

David-Barrett, E. (2019). Why is collecting and analysing data about public procurement so damned difficult? Data scientists explain some common problems. Originally published on the ACE-Global Integrity blog: https://ace.globalintegrity.org/dataexplainer/

Open data is often lauded as a magic pill for anti-corruption: reveal what’s going on, inform the public, and, presto, government will become more accountable. Oh, and big data just means bigger gains, right?

Not quite. We have written elsewhere about the institutional and political challenges that can hinder the transparency –> accountability transformation. But even the very first stage — collecting the data — is much harder than it seems. …

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Grand corruption and government change: an analysis of partisan favoritism in public procurement

Dávid-Barrett, E. & Fazekas, M. (2019). Grand corruption and government change: an analysis of partisan favoritism in public procurement. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10610-019-09416-4

Incoming governments sometimes abuse their power to manipulate the allocation of government contracts so as to buy loyalty from cronies. While scandals suggest such practices are relatively widespread, the extent of such partisan favoritism is difficult to measure and the conditions under which it flourishes under-theorized. Drawing on theory regarding the role of institutions as constraints on corruption, we identify three spheres of political influence over government contracting and show how elites

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Elections and corruption: incentives to steal or incentives to invest?

Fazekas, M. & Hellmann, O. (2019). Elections and corruption: incentives to steal or incentives to invest? GTI-WP/2019:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Despite the fact that most political systems around the world now hold regular multi-party elections, we know little about the effect of elections on political corruption. To address this gap in the literature, we employ a multi-method research design—combining unmatched and matched quantitative comparisons with a qualitative small-N study of Indonesia and the Philippines—to analyse a novel government contracting dataset that provides objective measurements of corruption. We find that, all things being equal, corruption risks increases in the immediate …

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Big data analytics as a tool for auditors to identify and prevent fraud and corruption in public procurement

Adam, I. & Fazekas, M. (2019). Big data analytics as a tool for auditors to identify and prevent fraud and corruption in public procurement. European Court of Auditors Journal 2/2019: pp. 172-179.

ECA Journal Short Read:

Government contracts and big data analytics – big data in public procurement can help auditors on two levels: (1) it can facilitate decisions about monitoring, audit and investigations; (2) it can inform country or sector-wide policy decisions on resource allocation and regulations.

Measuring corruption requires a proxy – a ‘corruption risk index’ (CRI) has been developed, combining four observable risk indicators: (1) tendering risk; …

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Single bidding and non-competitive tendering procedures in EU co-funded projects

Fazekas, M. (2019). Single bidding and non-competitive tendering procedures in EU co-funded projects. Brussels: European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy.

Transparency, efficiency and competition in public procurement are essential for ensuring sound investments resulting in concrete benefits for both businesses and citizens. The 7th Cohesion Report pointed out that open and transparent public procurement is essential to promote development and reward the most efficient firms. However, the use of open procedures, the intensity of competition and the speed of decision-making as well as the risk of corruption varies markedly between regions.

In particular, single bidding, or procurement …

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