Compliance and strategic contract manipulation around single market regulatory thresholds – the case of Poland

Tóth, B., Fazekas, M. (2017): Compliance and strategic contract manipulation around single market regulatory thresholds – the case of Poland. GTI-WP/2017:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The functioning of the EU’s single market in government contracts crucially hinges upon compliance with and adequate use of EU-wide rules. However, evidence from a range of countries suggest that these rules are circumvented and manipulated tenders are used to pursue protectionist or favouritistic agendas. In order to test whether such claims also apply to Polish public procurement we investigate the extent of non-compliance and manipulation around the regulatory thresholds defining whether national or EU-rules …

Read More

Uncovering High-Level Corruption: Cross-National Corruption Proxies Using Government Contracting Data

Fazekas, M and Kocsis, G (2015). Uncovering High-Level Corruption: Cross-National Corruption Proxies Using Government Contracting Data. British Journal of Poltical Science. Published online: 24 August 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000461

Measuring high-level corruption and government favouritism has been the object of extensive scholarly and policy interest with relatively little progress in the last decade. In order to address the lack of reliable indicators, this article develops two objective proxy measures of high-level corruption in public procurement: single bidding in competitive markets and a composite score of tendering ‘red flags’. Using publicly available official electronic records of over 2.8 million government contracts in …

Read More

Assessing Tanzania’s National Procurement Data Infrastructure

Czibik Á, Dávid-Barrett E, Fazekas M, Parsons D, Stern D, Stern R and Szendrői B (2017): Tanzania’s Procurement Data Infrastructure: Observations and Recommendations. GTI-R/2017:01, Budapest, Government Transparency Institute, May 2017

The publication of data about government procurement is widely perceived to be beneficial in terms of improving transparency over a significant area of public spending. Transparency in public procurement is associated with greater scrutiny over processes and outcomes, helping to improve accountability in order to achieve enhanced competition, better value for money and reduced corruption. As a member of the Open Government Partnership since 2011, the Tanzanian government has consistently …

Read More

Red tape, bribery and government favouritism: evidence from Europe

Mihály Fazekas: Red tape, bribery and government favouritism: evidence from Europe. Crime, Law and Social Change (2017). URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10611-017-9694-2

Red tape has long been identified as a major cause of corruption, hence deregulation was advocated as an effective anticorruption tool, an advice which many country followed. However, we lack robust systematic evidence on whether deregulation actually lowers corruption. This is partially due to the difficulty of defining what is good regulation, but also to the lack of theoretical clarity about which type of corruption regulations impact on and to the deficient measurement of different types of corruption. In order to …

Read More

Infrastructure for Whom? Corruption Risks in Infrastructure Provision Across Europe

Mihály Fazekas, Bence Tóth: Infrastructure for Whom? Corruption Risks in Infrastructure Provision Across Europe. In: The Governance of Infrastructure. Ed.: Wegrich K, Kostka G, Hammerschmid G. Hertie School of Governance, 9 March 2017. URL: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-governance-of-infrastructure-9780198787310?cc=gb&lang=en&#

Infrastructure provision from roads to sanitation involves large amounts of public funds in highly complex projects comprehensible only to a few. Hence, it is hardly a surprise that all across Europe, but especially in high corruption risk countries, it is a primary target of corrupt elites. This is amply evidenced by countless scandals and trials, perception surveys and increasingly ‘objective’ data on corruption risks. Central- …

Read More

Assessing the potential for detecting collusion in Swedish public procurement

Mihály Fazekas, Bence Tóth (2016): Assessing the potential for detecting collusion in Swedish public procurement. Swedish Competition Authority Commissioned Research Reports 2016:3, Oktober 2016. 

URL: http://www.konkurrensverket.se/globalassets/publikationer/uppdragsforskning/forsk_rapport_2016-3.pdf

This research report provides a detailed discussion of three fundamental topics relevant for building a public procurement system in Sweden which supports both government accountability, and monitoring the risks of collusion. First, it offers a comparison of the current Swedish data system to a set of European best practices in terms of public procurement data scope, depth, and quality using data collected by the EU-funded DIGIWHIST research project. Second, it provides an assessment of …

Read More

DIGIWHIST policy recommendations: Towards More Transparent and Efficient Contracting in the European Union

Mara Mendes, Mihály Fazekas (2017): Towards More Transparent and Efficient Contracting – Public Procurement in the European Union. DIGIWHIST publications. March 2017. 

URL: https://opentender.eu/blog/2017-03-towards-more-transparency/

Approximately 15% of the EU’s Gross Domestic Product is spent every year on procuring goods and services, and some estimates indicate that corruption increases the cost of government contracts by 20 – 25%. It is even more worrying that corruption in public procurement compromises widely supported public goals, such as building safe highways, high quality school buildings, or delivering medicine in time. These are a few of the main reasons why more research needs to be …

Read More