The role of agencification in achieving value-for-money in public spending

Cingolani L. & Fazekas, M. (2020). The role of agencification in achieving value-for-money in public spending. Governance. Available online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/gove.12452

Agencification has been pursued globally under the promise of increasing public administration performance. In spite of ample theoretical arguments, the empirical evidence on the causal link between agencification and performance remains scarce and methodologically contested. We contribute to this debate by empirically testing the impacts of agencification across Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom on value-for-money, competitiveness, and timeliness during the period 2006201 6. We use unique administrative datasets, enabling objective and granular measurements of reforms

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Anti-corruption in aid-funded procurement: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced?

David-Barrett E. and Fazekas, M. (2020). Anti-corruption in aid-funded procurement: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced? World Development. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105000

Given a widespread sense among donors that mainstream anti-corruption reforms over the past 25 years have failed to yield results, there is a move towards more targeted interventions. Such interventions should, in principle, overcome implementation gaps and make it easier to evaluate impact, supporting learning. However, when interventions are narrowly targeted, there is a risk that corrupt actors simply adapt, shifting their focus to areas with weaker controls, so that overall corruption is not reduced but merely displaced. We …

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Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption? A review of the state of evidence

Adam, I. & Fazekas, M. (2020). Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption? A review of the state of evidence. GTI-WP 2020:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

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 assessment. The tools reviewed are digital public services, crowdsourcing platforms, whistleblowing tools, transparency portals, big data, distributed ledger technology, and artificial …

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India’s Federal Procurement Data Infrastructure: Observations and Recommendations

Adam, I., Tóth, B., Dávid-Barret, E., Fazekas, M. (2020). India’s Federal Procurement Data Infrastructure: Observations and Recommendations. GTI-R/2020:1, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Improving transparency in public procurement, that is publishing more and better-quality data, supports accountability by enabling greater scrutiny over processes and outcomes as well as helping to achieve greater competition and better value for money. In India, according to the Ministry of Finance General Financial Rules (2017), all procuring authorities are responsible and accountable for ensuring transparency, fairness, equality, competition and appeal rights in contracting. The transparency principle is about making information easily accessible to the public: it …

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Corruption risk in contracting markets: A network science perspective

Wachs,J., Fazekas, M., Kertész, J. (2020). Corruption risk in contracting markets: A network science perspective. International Journal of Data Science and Analytics. Available online.

We use methods from network science to analyze corruption risk in a large administrative dataset of over 4 million public procurement contracts from European Union member states covering the years 2008–2016. By mapping procurement markets as bipartite networks of issuers and winners of contracts, we can visualize and describe the distribution of corruption risk. We study the structure of these networks in each member state, identify their cores, and find that highly centralized markets tend to …

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