Measuring the benefits of open contracting: Case studies on Mexico, Paraguay, and Slovakia

Adam, I., Fazekas, M. & Tóth, B. (2020). Measuring the benefits of open contracting: Case studies on Mexico, Paraguay, and Slovakia. GTI-WP/2020:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Enhancing the transparency of government in general and of public procurement processes in particular has been increasingly on the agenda of governments, civil societies and businesses as evidenced by initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership which has seen 70 OGP members making 189 open contracting commitments by March 2019[1]. In spite of such major policy developments, we still lack the specific and rigorous evidence on the impact of transparency interventions and …

Read More

Lights on the shadows of public procurement: Transparency as an antidote to corruption

Bauhr, M., Czibik, Á., Fazekas, M., and de Fine Licht, J. (2017). Lights on the Shadows of Public Procurement. Transparency in government contracting as an antidote to corruption? Governance Special Issue: https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12432.

The increased focus on marketizing mechanisms and contracting‐out operations following the New Public Management reform agenda has sparked a debate on whether the close interactions between public and private actors might drive corruption in the public sector. The main response to those worries has been increased transparency, but so far empirical evidence of its efficiency remains scant and mixed. This article argues that the beneficial effects of transparency …

Read More

The extent and cost of corruption in transport infrastructure: New evidence from Europe

Fazekas, M. & Tóth, B. (2018). The Extent and Cost of Corruption in Transport Infrastructure: New evidence from Europe. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice. Vol. 113, July 2018, pp. 35–54.

Transport infrastructure provision from roads to waterways involves large amounts of public funds in very
complex projects. 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 article provides a state-of-the-art review of the literature on the cost
of corruption and estimates the level of corruption risks and associated costs in European infrastructure…

Read More

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. …

Read More

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

Read More