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Monitoring public contracting: Experience from 18 integrity pacts in the EU

Transparency International and the European Commission teamed up in 2015 to tackle corruption in public procurement in EU-funded investments. As a result, between 2016 and 2021, a coalition of 15 civil society organisations monitored 18 procurement projects in the European Union (EU) worth a total of €920 million through a collaborative mechanism called the integrity pact.

The monitored projects covered a range of sectors, including transport infrastructure, cultural heritage and public-sector administrative capacity. Several integrity pacts protected strategic green investments, demonstrating the significance of civic oversight in improving public procurement to benefit the people and the planet.

The pilot initiative brought together government agencies, the private sector and civil society in 11 EU countries – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia – to ensure that selected contracting projects were designed and implemented to the highest possible standards of transparency, accountability and efficiency in the public interest.

After six years, the independent monitors' work resulted in almost 770 recommendations and several identified irregularities. We made these public through over 80 publicly available monitoring reports shared widely.

Monitoring public contracting: Experience from 18 integrity pacts in the EU sets out key facts, figures and achievements from the 18 integrity pacts. Overall, the impact of integrity pacts was apparent in enhanced transparency and accountability, stronger competition and fairness, better value for money, citizen engagement and even long-term institutional change.

This publication aims to inform future decision-makers, public authorities, prospective independent monitors and participating bidders and inspire them to monitor public contracting by setting up strong integrity pacts.