Hidden barriers to open competition: Using text mining to uncover corrupt restrictions to competition in public procurement

Eszter Katona & Mihály Fazekas (2024). Hidden barriers to open competition: Using text mining to uncover corrupt restrictions to competition in public procurement. GTI-WP/2024:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Public procurement accounts for one third of government spending across the world, while it is also particularly vulnerable to corruption. Large amounts of open administrative data enabled a rich literature on measuring corruption. However, scholarship largely focuses on structured information on government tenders, neglecting text fields which are particularly suitable for hiding …

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Global Contract-level Public Procurement Dataset

Mihály Fazekas, Bence Toth, Aly Abdou and Ahmed Al-Shaibani (2024) Global Contract-level Public Procurement Dataset. Data in Brief. 2024. april.

One-third of total government spending across the globe goes to public procurement, amounting to about 10 trillion dollars a year. Despite its vast size and crucial importance for economic and political developments, there is a lack of globally comparable data on contract awards and tenders run. To fill this gap, this article introduces the Global Public Procurement Dataset (GPPD). Using …

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Collusion Risk in Corporate Networks

Isabela Villamil, János Kertész, and Mihály Fazekas (2024) Collusion Risk in Corporate Networks. Scientific Reports, 14.

Collusion among economic operators increases prices, reduces product quality, and hinders innovation. Structural links can affect the incentive and ability of firms to behave competitively by facilitating collusion. We use a network-based approach to study the relationship between ownership links and bidding behavior in procurement markets. We build temporal multiplex networks based on firms’ ownership and co-bidding ties to find network measures that may …

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Data Analytics for Anti-Corruption in Public Procurement

Poltoratskaia, Viktoriia & Fazekas, Mihály (2024) Data Analytics for Anti-Corruption in Public Procurement. In Sope Williams and Jessica Tillipman (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Public Procurement Corruption. Chapter 4. Routledge.

This chapter describes and analyses the ways in which data analytics can be used for countering corruption in public procurement. It also discusses the main challenges for effective data-driven anti corruption in public procurement. We propose a simple conceptual framework, which distinguishes petty and grand corruption. Depending on the type of …

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Corruption Risks in Emergencies

Fazekas, Mihály & Nishchal, Shrey (2023) Corruption Risks in Emergencies. In Elgar Concise Encyclopedia of Corruption Law. Chapter 38. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Following disasters, governments need to implement a range of responses, including the procurement of essential supplies in a short time to fulfil urgent needs. Good procurement principles such as open competition and value for money may hamper timely emergency response. Therefore, emergency clauses, which allow for deviations from open competition, are a standard component of government procurement laws. …

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Bulgaria Public Finance Review 2023

Desislava Nikolova,  Collette Mari Wheeler,  Brian Erard, Monica Robayo,  Maynor Cabrera, Evan Harold Blecher, Mihaly Fazekas, Bence Tóth, Zdravko Veljanov, Viktoriia Poltoratskaia, et al. (2023) World Bank. 2023. Bulgaria Public Finance Review 2023. Washington, DC: World Bank

Bulgaria has traditionally adhered to fiscal discipline and prudent fiscal policy since the introduction of its currency board arrangement in mid-1997. After a gradual decline in the 2000s, public debt has remained among the lowest in the European Union (EU), hovering in a …

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ECA Public Procurement Competition Dashboard

The European Court of Auditors, with assistance from GTI staff, launched an interactive dashboard for the “Special report 28/2023: Public procurement in the EU – Less competition for contracts awarded for works, goods and services in the 10 years up to 2021.” The report found that over the last decade, competition for public contracts has decreased, and that the 2014 reform of the EU directives did not succeed in reversing it. Overall, there is a lack of awareness of …

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Bridges to Nowhere: State Capture and Corruption Risks in Fiscal Transfers and Public Procurement at the Local Level in Southeast Europe

Mineva, D., Kostova, T., Fazekas, M., Poltoratskaia, V. (2023). Bridges to Nowhere: State Capture and Corruption Risks in Fiscal Transfers and Public Procurement at the Local Level in Southeast Europe. Center for the Study of  Democracy. Sofia, Bulgaria.

This report analyses the risks entailed by the misuse of fiscal transfers from central to local governments in nine SEE countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia). Such transfers are typically a tool of equalisation …

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Governance Risk Assessment System (GRAS): Advanced Data Analytics for Detecting Fraud, Corruption, and Collusion in Public Expenditures

Ortega Nieto, D., Fazekas, M., Vaz Mondo, B., Tóth, B., Braem Velasco, R. A. (2023). Governance Risk Assessment System (GRAS): Advanced Data Analytics for Detecting Fraud, Corruption, and Collusion in Public Expenditures (English). Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Insight. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.

Corruption poses a significant threat to development and has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable. Government agencies struggle to identify fraud and corruption in public expenditures. Risk assessments usually rely on manual …

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Elections and Corruption: Incentives to Steal or Incentives to Invest?

Fazekas, M., Hellmann, O. (2023) Elections and Corruption: Incentives to Steal or Incentives to Invest?. Studies in Comparative International Development. 

By now, most political systems around the world hold regular multiparty elections of different quality and type. However, we know relatively little about the effect of elections on corruption, especially in high-discretion, public procurement contracts implementing development aid. To address this gap in the literature, we employ unmatched comparisons and matching estimators to analyze a global government contracting dataset that …

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