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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Efficiency gains from anti-corruption in pharmaceuticals procurement: Analysis of 9 countries across 3 continents

Veljanov, Z. and Fazekas, M. (2023). Efficiency gains from anti-corruption in pharmaceuticals procurement: Analysis of 9 countries across 3 continents. GTI-WP/2023:04, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Public procurement of pharmaceutical products represents a large share of countries’ health care spending. The crucial importance of pharmaceutical products has been further exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inefficiencies and corruption risks in public spending on the procurement of pharmaceuticals increase medical costs and place a heavy burden on national budgets and patients.
To support …

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Linked Beneficial Ownership data? Challenges and opportunities

Fazekas, M., Poltoratskaia, V., Vianello, M. and Trautvetter, C. (2023).  Linked Beneficial Ownership Data? Challenges and Opportunities. Network of Experts on Beneficial Ownership Transparency – NEBOT Policy Paper 6.  Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg

One of the most widely-accepted policy goals of beneficial ownership registers is to help tackle money laundering and financial crime. In order to further this goal, this paper first identifies types of data needed to track dark money and assesses how these can be …

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Corruption risks in public procurement through the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe

Fazekas, M., Hernandez Sanchez, A., Abdou, A. and Kofrán, D. (2023). Corruption risks in public procurement through the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. GTI-WP/2023:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major emergency globally, requiring rapid responses to protect citizens’ health and lives. In order to inform future emergency policies, this paper sets out to track the corruption risk impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the policies implemented to tackle the pandemic.
We adopt a mixed-methods approach, …

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Corruption Risks and State Capture in Bulgarian Public Procurement

Fazekas, M.; Poltoratskaia, V.; Tóth, B. (2023). Corruption Risks and State Capture in Bulgarian Public Procurement (English). Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 10444 Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.

This paper sets out to measure and analyze corruption risks, patterns of favoritism, and state capture in public procurement in Bulgaria. It draws on two main types of data: large-scale administrative data on public procurement and the list of politically exposed persons. The analysis rests on calculating individual corruption risk …

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Public procurement cartels: A large-sample testing of screens using machine learning

Fazekas, M., Tóth, B. and Wachs, J. (2023). Public procurement cartels: A large-sample testing of screens using machine learning. GTI-WP/2023:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Cartels in public procurement impose high costs on public budgets. Precisely measuring them has a prominent policy and academic importance. The literature so far used data which is not widely available, aimed to identify specific behaviours in isolation, and considered few cases to generalise from. By implication, it has not produced comprehensive and generalisable knowledge able …

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Introducing E-Procurement in Bangladesh: The Promise of Efficiency and Openness

Blum, J. R., Datta, A., Fazekas, M., Samaddar, S. and Siddique, I. (2023). Introducing E-Procurement in Bangladesh: The Promise of Efficiency and Openness (English). Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 10390; Impact Evaluation series Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. 

Governments around the world spend about one-third of their budgets through public procurement systems where electronic administration of public tenders promises great benefits. However, surprisingly little is known about how, under which circumstances, and through which features electronic systems work. …

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Advances in measuring corruption and agenda for the future

Fazekas, M. and Ferrali, R. (2023). Advances in measuring corruption and agenda for the future. GTI-WP/2023:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Measuring corruption is indispensable for identifying effective anticorruption policies and tracking progress towards lower levels of corruption. While there is a widespread perception that researchers and policymakers lack adequate quantitative corruption indicators, we argue that in fact there is an abundance of such metrics, although gaps remain. Tried-and-tested indicators range from expert ratings through national representative bribery surveys until transaction-based …

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Assessing Vulnerabilities to Corruption in Public Procurement and Their Price Impact

Abdou, A., Basdevant, O., Dávid-Barrett, E. and Fazekas, M. (2022). Assessing Vulnerabilities to Corruption in Public Procurement and Their Price Impact. IMF WP/2022/094.

Public procurement can be highly vulnerable to corruption. This paper outlines a methodology and results in assessing corruption risks in public procurement and their impact on relative prices, using large databases on government contracts and tenders. Our primary contribution is to analyze how price differential in public procurement contracts can be explained by corruption risk factor (aggregated …

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Public procurement cartels: A systematic testing of old and new screens

Adam, I., Fazekas, M., Kazmina, Y., Teremy, Zs., Tóth, B., Villamil, I., R. and Wachs, J. (2022). Public procurement cartels: A systematic testing of old and new screens. GTI-WP/2022:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Though cartels are thought to be common, they tend to be hard to find. Successful prosecutions are even more rare, and usually begin with an exceptional event: when a cartel member makes a sloppy mistake or decides to blow the whistle. Researchers have long studied these cases …

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