Development aid contracts database: World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and EuropeAid

Fazekas, M., Abdou, A., Kazmina, Y. and Regős, N. (2022). Development aid contracts database: World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and EuropeAid. Data in Brief, Volume 42, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2022.108121 

This article presents a global database of government contracts funded by the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and EuropeAid, principally from the years 2000-2017. The contract-level data were directly collected from the official contract publication sites of these organisations using webscraping methods. While the source publication formats are diverse both over time …

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Tender-X Risk Consultancy: Data-Driven Risk Analytics

Tender-X is a for-profit venture developed by the Government Transparency Institute, aimed at commercial use. The target clients of Tender-X are banks and development finance institutions that finance companies engaged in public procurement, as well as private companies that take part in public procurement and their legal and financial advisors.

Tender-X aims to save time for its clients by providing an analytical report based on quantitative data. Such data is not part of the usual qualitative and watchlist-based due diligence …

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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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Analyzing Public Procurement Risks: Training manual

Fazekas, M., Horn, P., Czibik, Á., and Tóth, B. (2021): Analyzing Public Procurement Risks: Training manual. Budapest: R2G4P / Government Transparency Institute. 

The main purpose of the manual is to introduce how data analytics can encourage good governance practices by highlighting the weaknesses of public procurement systems and by supporting independent corruption risk research. To achieve this, the document gives a step-by-step introduction to the analytical process of large-scale public procurement datasets. First, it briefly introduces the conceptual background of …

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Countering Public Grant Fraud in Spain: Machine Learning for Assessing Risks and Targeting Control Activities

OECD (2021), Countering Public Grant Fraud in Spain: Machine Learning for Assessing Risks and Targeting Control Activities, OECD Public Governance Reviews, Paris: OECD Publishing, https://doi.org/10.1787/0ea22484-en.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, marked by a high volume of accelerated spending, fraud risks have become a pressing concern for governments worldwide. In this environment, public control and audit bodies play a vital role to ensure money is well spent and vulnerabilities are spotted and addressed quickly. In Spain, the General Comptroller …

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Public procurement under and after emergencies

Fazekas, M., Nishchal, S. and Søreide, T. (2021): Public procurement under and after emergencies. In Bandiera, O., Bosio, E. and Spagnolo, G. (Ed.), Procurement in Focus – Rules, Discretion, and Emergencies. London: CEPR Press. pp.33-42. 

Covid-19 has served as a global case study for increased discretion in public procurement, with governments worldwide making rules more flexible to increase spending, reduce the damage, and save lives. This CEPR eBook provides fascinating insights into the tension between rules and discretion in public …

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Can impact assessments tame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe

Brenner, D., & Fazekas, M. (2021). Can impact assessmentstame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe.Governance, available online: https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12649

Laws should endure and change only if assumed benefits don’t materialize over time. Yet frequent modifications of laws shortly after their enactment distort this compromise between stability and change. While, Impact Assessments (IAs) are designed to improve the quality of legislation, we know little about IAs’ impact on legal stability post-enactment. We fill this gap by analysing …

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The extra-legal governance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement

Fazekas, M., Sberna, S., & Vannucci, A. (2021). The extra-legalgovernance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement. Governance, available online: https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12648

This article traces the organization of corruption in public procurement, by theoretically and empirically assessing the contribution of extra-legal governance organizations (EGO) to supporting it. Theoretically, we explore the governance role played by organized criminal groups in corruption networks, facilitating corrupt transactions by lowering search costs, bargaining costs, and enforcement cots. Empirically, the analysis exploits a …

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COVID-19 emergency public procurement in Romania: Corruption risks and market behavior

Abdou, A., Czibik, Á., Tóth, B. and Fazekas, M. (2021): COVID-19 emergency public procurement in Romania: Corruption risks and market behavior. GTI-WP/2021:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The aim of this research is to track corruption risks affecting the Romanian public procurement system during the COVID-19 emergency. We develop a composite Corruption Risk Index (CRI) to track public procurement contracting risks in Romania in the period from 2015 to 2021. We find that the emergency context exposed the procurement process to …

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Are Emerging Technologies Helping Win the Fight Against Corruption? A Review of the State of Evidence

Adam, I. and Fazekas, M (2021): Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption? A review of the state of evidence. Information Economics and Policy. 57, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infoecopol.2021.100950

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often thought of as a uniformly positive tool making governments more transparent, accountable, and less corrupt. However, the evidence on it is mixed and often misunderstood. Hence, this article carries out a systematic stocktaking of ICT tools’ impact on corruption, offering a nuanced and context-dependent assessment. …

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