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- …

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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 …

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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 …

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Careers, Connections, and Corruption Risks: Investigating the Impact of Bureaucratic Meritocracy on Public Procurement Processes

Nicholas Charron, Carl Dahlström, Viktor Lapuente, Mihály Fazekas (2017). Careers, Connections, and Corruption Risks: Investigating the Impact of Bureaucratic Meritocracy on Public Procurement Processes. The Journal of Politics, Vol. 79, No. 1, January 2017. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5699/slaveasteurorev2.95.issue-1

This article emphasizes the important interplay between politics and bureaucracy. It suggests that corruption risks are lower when bureaucrats’ careers do not depend on political connections but on their peers. We test this hypothesis with a novel measure of career incentives in the public sector—using a survey of more than 18,000 public sector employees in 212 European regions—and a new objective corruption risk measure …

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Data publication: World Bank public procurement data for fiscal years 1998-2013

This publication contains data about the prior reviewed contracts financed by the World Bank between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 2014. The source data comes from World Bank Major Contract Awards. Government Transparency Institute cleaned the data, added a few additional data variables, and calculated a range of corruption risk indices. The dataset was created as part of the research project ‘Curbing corruption in development aid-funded procurement’, supported by BA/DFID Anti-corruption Evidence Partnership.

Data file: dtacsv

Variable list (XLSX)

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Data publication: public procurement in Tanzania, 2009-2016

This publication contains Tanzanian public procurement data retrieved from the issues of Tanzania Procurement Journal between 2009 and 2016. The dataset was compiled as a part of the research project ‘Quantitative corruption analysis: implementation and case study’ with the ultimate aim of exploring ways to increase transparency and integrity through Big Data solutions.

The research project was carried out by researchers from the Mathematical Institute (University of Oxford), Statistical Services Centre (University of Reading), Department of Sociology (University of Cambridge), Department of Politics (University of Sussex), and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (Tanzania). GTI contributed to data collection, data …

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Measuring Corrupt Rent Extraction by Tracking the Misuse of Corporate Vehicles

Fazekas, M. and Tóth, B. (2016). Measuring Corrupt Rent Extraction by Tracking the Misuse of Corporate Vehicles. Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

This proposal was prepared for the U4 Anticorruption Resource Center’s Proxy Challenge 2016. This year’s proxy challenge competition received 24 submissions and for our greatest pleasure, GTI’s team won the competition. The proposal was presented by Mihály Fazekas and Bence Tóth at the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama, 1-4 December.

The proxy indicator looks at the exchanges between private companies and public bodies. The proxy makes it possible to identify potentially corrupt transactions and companies specifically designed for corrupt …

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A comprehensive review of objective corruption proxies in public procurement: risky actors, transactions, and vehicles of rent extraction

Fazekas, M., Cingolani, L. and Tóth, B. (2016). A comprehensive review of objective corruption proxies in public procurement: risky actors, transactions, and vehicles of rent extraction. GTI-WP/2016:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

This paper can provide a comprehensive review of quantitative corruption proxies, conceptualise how different indicators capture different aspects of corruption, and identify gaps in the measurement landscape. Institutionalised, well-established corruption in government contracting aims to bypass fair and open competition in order to allocate contracts to companies belonging to the corrupt group. This requires at least i) corrupt transactions allowing for rent generation, ii) particularistic relations underpinning collective action …

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Corrupt Contracting: Partisan Favouritism in Public Procurement

David-Barrett, L and Fazekas, M (2016). Corrupt Contracting: Partisan Favouritism in Public Procurement. GTI-WP/2016:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

For politicians seeking to use a clientelist approach to achieve political and private gain, i.e., to prolong their hold on power and maximize personal profit, control of government contracting is a key tool. We theorise that politicians wishing to exploit government contracting for such ends will seek to increase their influence over three stages of public procurement – policy formation, implementation and monitoring – but that their efforts can be constrained by institutional controls and checks. We examine these influence strategies and …

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Breaking the cycle? How (not) to use political finance regulations to counter public procurement corruption

Fazekas, M and Cingolani, L (2017). Breaking the cycle? How (not) to use political finance regulations to counter public procurement corruption. In: The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 95, No. 1, January 2017. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5699/slaveasteurorev2.95.issue-1

There are widespread perceptions and countless documented cases of tight-knit networks of politicians and businessmen colluding for allocating public procurement contracts in return for political party donations. In the absence of systematic evidence, neither the magnitude of the problem nor the effectiveness of policies curbing such corruption is well-understood. In order to advance our understanding of these phenomena, this paper tests whether political financing …

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