Assessing the quality of government at the regional level using public procurement data

Fazekas, M. (2017):  Assessing the quality of government at the regional level using public procurement data. European Commission Working Papers WP 12/2017. Available online: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/information/publications/working-papers/2017/assessing-the-quality-of-government-at-the-regional-level-using-public-procurement-data

Public procurement, that is the purchase of goods and services by public entities, plays a crucial role in the development and quality of government across the European Union (EU). On average, it amounts to about 13 % of GDP or 29 % of government spending (European Commission, 2016; OECD, 2015). It is a genuinely cross-cutting government function concerning virtually every public body from federal ministries to local state-owned utilities, making it broadly representative of the …

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The effectiveness of the European Union in safeguarding competition in public procurement markets

Fazekas, M., Tóth, B. (2017):  The effectiveness of the European Union in safeguarding competition in public procurement markets. GTI-WP/2017:04, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The EU’s single market in government purchases constitutes a fundamental pillar of economic integration throughout the continent, as it amounts to 4% of GDP. If competition is deficient efficiency losses ensue. As we know surprisingly little about the effectiveness of monitoring and enforcement institutions designed to safeguard competition, we investigate whether the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union are effective in changing market behaviour. Using a unique micro-level public procurement database 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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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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Universalistic rules-particularistic implementation: The EU’s single market for government purchases

Fazekas, M and Skohrovec, J (2016). Universalistic rules – particularistic implementation: The EU’s single market for government purchases. GTI-R/2016:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Open and fair access to government contracts has been a long-standing principle in many international trade agreements including the one on the EU’s single public procurement market which is probably the most extensive among them with its long standing common regulatory and enforcement framework. However, the ostensibly low prevalence of cross-border trade in European public procurement represents a troubling puzzle: only about 5% of procurement contracts are awarded to non-domestic suppliers. This is in strike contrast with …

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