TI launches Clean Contracting Manifesto, calls for G20 adoption

TI launches Clean Contracting Manifesto, calls for G20 adoption

Every year, governments spend huge sums of money through public contracts, on everything from pencils and paper to providing basic services such as health clinics, roads and schools. However, the concentration of money, government discretion and corporate influence in providing these vital goods and services makes public contracting particularly vulnerable to corruption – and the impacts of this corruption can be particularly devastating.

Between 2001 and 2016, Brazilian construction company Odebrecht paid as much as $788 million in bribes to win public contracts across Latin America. The Car Wash investigation, known as Lava Jato, showed how a sophisticated network of executives, politicians and contractors rigged the procurement system in Brazil to award themselves lucrative contracts and fleece the public purse.

In Hungary, four oligarchs were awarded EUR1.88 billion in public contracts in just six years, an example of cronyism that shows just how procurement can benefit the few rather than the many.

In Venezuela, a recent award-winning investigation revealed systemic conflicts of interest in public spending on the military.

This is why Transparency International, together with its partners, CoST – the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative, Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), Hivos and Article19, have launched the Clean Contracting Manifesto. The whole lifecycle of public procurement must be implemented to the highest possible standards of transparency, accountability and efficiency and in the public interest.

“The goal is for civil society to work collectively to make public contracting accountable to citizens, as opposed to corrupt special interests, especially when it comes to infrastructure delivery,” said Zoe Reiter, senior project lead at Transparency International.

At a time of economic austerity, this is crucial. By 2030, close to US$6 trillion could be lost annually in the construction industry through corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency. Think of how many schools and hospitals could be built and how much public infrastructure improved with that money.

But it’s not just the public who lose when procurement isn’t clean. According to a 2013 Eurobarometer survey, more than 30 per cent of companies participating in EU public procurement say corruption prevented them from winning a contract.

We’re calling on governments and international organisations to adopt the manifesto. It has five pillars that form the core of what is needed to foster a culture of clean contracting:

  1. Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) and monitoring systems
  2. Independent civil society monitoring of specific projects, using tools such as an Integrity Pact
  3. Effective and meaningful participation by affected communities in all phases of the public procurement process, including the pre-tender phase
  4. A strong, professional and engaged civil society sector
  5. A strong and credible sanctions regime

Just to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) infrastructure investments of US$93 billion each year will be needed. At the same time, the G20 has highlighted the US$1 trillion financing gap that is required to meet the global infrastructure needs. We urge our elected leaders in the G20, the Organization of American States, the EU and across the world to engage with civil society and affected communities to ensure that this money is not lost to corruption.

When large infrastructure projects are designed and implemented without an anti-corruption perspective, roads can be built to nowhere, bridges crumble, environments are damaged and communities are displaced. People’s lives are on the line. 

Our work on public procurement in the EU

In 2016 the European Commission teamed up with Transparency International to pilot the use of Integrity Pacts to monitor public procurement on 17 projects in 11 Member States worth a total of over EUR 900 million. Find out more.

Image: CC0, Unsplash / Jamie Street

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Supplementary downloads

Latest

Support Transparency International

الأبعاد الخطيرة للتعديلات الدستورية المقترحة في مصر

يتأهب نواب البرلمان المصري للمصادقة على سلسلة من التعديلات الدستورية، التي ستؤدي في حال تمريرها إلى ترسيخ مزيد من السلطة بيد الرئيس، وتنصيب الجيش مجددا كأعلى سلطة في البلاد.

The alarming message of Egypt’s constitutional amendments

Parliamentarians in Egypt look set to approve a series of constitutional amendments this week that, if passed, would consolidate power in the office of the president, while restoring the military as the ultimate authority in the country.

Восточная Европа и Центральная Азия: слабая система сдержек и противовесов

Индекс восприятия коррупции (ИВК) за этот год представляет печальную картину касательно мер по борьбе с коррупцией в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии. За несколько лет в этом регионе был достигнут очень незначительный прогресс в борьбе с коррупцией.

الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا: انتشار الفساد في ظل ضعف المؤسسات وتراجع الحقوق السياسية

كشف مؤشر مدركات الفساد 2018 عن صورة قاتمة لواقع الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا حيث أن معظم بلدان المنطقة قد أخفقت في مكافحة الفساد على الرغم من أن قلة قليلة من البلدان قد أحرزت تقدما تدريجيا.

Afrique subsaharienne:Les régimes non démocratiques sapent les efforts de lutte contre la corruption

L’Indice de perception de la corruption (IPC) présente cette année un tableau bien sombre de l’Afrique : seuls 8 pays sur 49 obtiennent un score supérieur à 43 sur les 100 points que compte l’Indice. Malgré l’engagement pris par les dirigeants africains de faire de 2018 l’Année africaine de lutte contre la corruption, les avancées concrètes se font encore attendre.

Trouble at the top: why high-scoring countries aren’t corruption-free

For the third year running, the top seven countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 consist of the four Nordic nations – Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway – plus New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland. Yet that doesn’t mean that these countries are corruption-free.

Americas: el debilitamiento de la democracia y el auge del populismo

Con una puntuación media de 44 sobre 100 durante tres años consecutivos en el Índice de Percepción de la Corrupción (IPC), las Américas continúa sin lograr avances significativos en la lucha contra la corrupción.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media