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 …

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Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: New Evidence from Contract-Level Data

Dávid-Barrett, E., Fazekas, M., Hellmann, O., Márk, L., McCorley, C. (2017):  Controlling Corruption in Development Aid:  New Evidence from Contract-Level Data. GTI-WP/2017:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Following scandals about corruption in foreign aid, and in a political climate that increasingly questions the legitimacy of development assistance, donors are under pressure to control how their funds are spent. At the same time, they also face pressure to trust recipient governments to disburse project funds themselves, so as to build capacity in …

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Corruption, government turnover, and public contracting market structure – Insights using network analysis and objective corruption proxies

Fazekas, M., Skuhrovec, J., Wachs, J. (2017): Corruption, government turnover, and public contracting market structure – Insights using network analysis and objective corruption proxies. GTI-WP/2017:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Many policymakers and researchers study and debate how to control and limit corruption. Few have examined the mechanisms by which corruption distorts markets and how they may be influenced to mitigate negative effects. To develop this new perspective, we study how corruption effects the structure of public contracting markets modelled as …

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Compliance and strategic contract manipulation around single market regulatory thresholds – the case of Poland

Tóth, B., Fazekas, M. (2017): Compliance and strategic contract manipulation around single market regulatory thresholds – the case of Poland. GTI-WP/2017:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The functioning of the EU’s single market in government contracts crucially hinges upon compliance with and adequate use of EU-wide rules. However, evidence from a range of countries suggest that these rules are circumvented and manipulated tenders are used to pursue protectionist or favouritistic agendas. In order to test whether such claims also apply to …

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Uncovering High-Level Corruption: Cross-National Corruption Proxies Using Government Contracting Data

Fazekas, M and Kocsis, G (2015). Uncovering High-Level Corruption: Cross-National Corruption Proxies Using Government Contracting Data. British Journal of Poltical Science. Published online: 24 August 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000461

Measuring high-level corruption and government favouritism has been the object of extensive scholarly and policy interest with relatively little progress in the last decade. In order to address the lack of reliable indicators, this article develops two objective proxy measures of high-level corruption in public procurement: single bidding in competitive markets and …

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A comprehensive review of objective corruption proxies in public procurement: risky actors, transactions, and vehicles of rent extraction

Fazekas, M., Cingolani, L. and Tóth, B. (2016). A comprehensive review of objective corruption proxies in public procurement: risky actors, transactions, and vehicles of rent extraction. GTI-WP/2016:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

This paper can provide a comprehensive review of quantitative corruption proxies, conceptualise how different indicators capture different aspects of corruption, and identify gaps in the measurement landscape. Institutionalised, well-established corruption in government contracting aims to bypass fair and open competition in order to allocate contracts to companies belonging to …

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Corrupt Contracting: Partisan Favouritism in Public Procurement

David-Barrett, L and Fazekas, M (2016). Corrupt Contracting: Partisan Favouritism in Public Procurement. GTI-WP/2016:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

For politicians seeking to use a clientelist approach to achieve political and private gain, i.e., to prolong their hold on power and maximize personal profit, control of government contracting is a key tool. We theorise that politicians wishing to exploit government contracting for such ends will seek to increase their influence over three stages of public procurement – policy formation, implementation and …

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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 …

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Corruption in EU Funds? Europe-wide evidence on the corruption effect of EU funded public contracting

Fazekas, M. and Tóth, I. J. (2015). Corruption in EU Funds? Europe-wide evidence on the corruption effect of EU funded public contracting. GTI-WP/2015:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

It is theoretically ambiguous and empirically contested whether EU Funds contribute to lower corruption and better governance or the opposite. Many recipient countries benefit to a substantial degree with allocations amounting to 2-4% of their annual GDP. A range of positive and negative cases has been uncovered by the European Commission, national governments …

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Toolkit for detecting collusive bidding in public procurement – With examples from Hungary

Tóth, B, Fazekas, M, Czibik, Á, Tóth, I. J. (2014). Toolkit for detecting collusive bidding in public procurement – With examples from Hungary. GTI-WP/2014:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Based on a synthesis of literature to-date, this paper provides a flexible indicator set deployable as a toolkit across many countries for detecting collusive bidding in public procurement. While no one-size-fits-all approach exists in detecting collusion, robust elementary indicators and analytical tools for adapting them to local contexts can be developed. The …

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