All of us can help ensure taxpayers’ money is well spent. Governments must guarantee to provide good quality services, bought at a fair price. This means they need strong procurement systems. It’s up to us to make sure these are put in place.
What do these systems look like? Above all, they’re transparent. This means we can see what’s going on. Then we can hold governments, bidders and contractors accountable for their actions. Good procurement systems are also shaped by clear regulations that meet international standards. And they’re overseen by strong institutions that enforce those rules. They also provide access to information and effective complaints mechanisms. These let us report suspected corruption confidentially and without threat.
Specific measures can help us ensure honest procurement processes. We should push for commitments to honesty by bidders for a contract and the procuring government agency. This means promises from everyone involved not to take part in bribery, collusion or other corrupt practices. We can also demand an independent external monitor to ensure an agreement is not violated.
To promote honesty in procurement, we’ve combined these measures into an agreement called an Integrity Pact. Since 2001, these have helped protect over 300 bidding processes from corruption.