Data update of World Bank, IADB, and EuropeAid datasets on development aid funded contracts and projects

The DFID-funded project “Curbing Corruption in Government Contracting” is releasing an update on the datasets collected on development projects, public tenders, and contracts for three major donor agencies: the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and EuropeAid. The datasets not only republish structured data gathered from official source websites, but also contain corruption risk red flags developed by the research team.

About the project

The project entitled “Curbing Corruption in Government Contracting” analyses how procurement can be manipulated for …

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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 …

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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 …

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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

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Elections and corruption: incentives to steal or incentives to invest?

Fazekas, M. & Hellmann, O. (2019). Elections and corruption: incentives to steal or incentives to invest? GTI-WP/2019:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Despite the fact that most political systems around the world now hold regular multi-party elections, we know little about the effect of elections on political corruption. To address this gap in the literature, we employ a multi-method research design—combining unmatched and matched quantitative comparisons with a qualitative small-N study of Indonesia and the Philippines—to analyse a novel government contracting …

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Big data analytics as a tool for auditors to identify and prevent fraud and corruption in public procurement

Adam, I. & Fazekas, M. (2019). Big data analytics as a tool for auditors to identify and prevent fraud and corruption in public procurement. European Court of Auditors Journal 2/2019: pp. 172-179.

ECA Journal Short Read:

Government contracts and big data analytics – big data in public procurement can help auditors on two levels: (1) it can facilitate decisions about monitoring, audit and investigations; (2) it can inform country or sector-wide policy decisions on resource allocation and regulations.

Measuring corruption

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Single bidding and non-competitive tendering procedures in EU co-funded projects

Fazekas, M. (2019). Single bidding and non-competitive tendering procedures in EU co-funded projects. Brussels: European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy.

Transparency, efficiency and competition in public procurement are essential for ensuring sound investments resulting in concrete benefits for both businesses and citizens. The 7th Cohesion Report pointed out that open and transparent public procurement is essential to promote development and reward the most efficient firms. However, the use of open procedures, the intensity of competition and the …

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Agency Design, Favoritism and Procurement in the United States

Dahlström, C., Fazekas, M., & Lewis, D. E. (2019). Agency Design, Favoritism and Procurement in the United States. QoG Working Paper Series 2019:4, ISSN 1653-8919.

The U.S. federal government spends huge sums buying goods and services from outside of the public sector. Given the sums involved, strategic government purchasing can have electoral consequences. In this paper, we suggest that more politicized agencies show favoritism to entrepreneurs in key electoral constituencies and to firms connected to political parties. We evaluate these

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Auction Length and Prices: Evidence from Random Auction Closing in Brazil

Oliveira, A., Fabregas Masllovet, A. & Fazekas, M. (2019). Auction Length and Prices : Evidence from Random Auction Closing in Brazil (English). Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 8828. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. 

Electronic reverse auctions are the most used competitive method for procurement of goods and non-consulting services by the Federal Government of Brazil. These auctions are closed randomly, which perfectly satisfies fairness considerations but may be suboptimal from an efficiency perspective. There are concerns that tenders are …

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Analytics for Integrity: Enhancing Integrity Risk Assessments through Data-Driven Approaches

OECD (2019). Analytics for Integrity: Enhancing Integrity Risk Assessments through Data-Driven Approaches. Available at: https://www1.oecd.org/gov/ethics/analytics-for-integrity.pdf

Effective risk management in infrastructure projects relies on strategic and robust risk assessments in order for managers to identify risks and adapt controls to mitigating them. Risk assessments are often qualitative, relying on observations of employees and experts involved in the projects. To complement these perception-based approaches, those responsible for managing risks in infrastructure—project managers, procurement officials and risk managers—can take advantage of data analytics …

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