Cartels and anti-competitive agreements

Fighting bid rigging in public procurement

 

Bid rigging involves groups of firms conspiring to raise prices or lower the quality of the goods or services offered in public tenders. Although illegal, this anti-competitive practice continues to cost governments and taxpayers billions of dollars every year across OECD countries.

OECD countries spend approximately 12% of their GDP in public procurement. This percentage can be higher in developing countries. The elimination of bid rigging could help reduce procurement prices by 20% or more.

 

The 2012 Recommendation on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement

 

On 17 July 2012, the OECD Council adopted a Recommendation on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement that calls for governments to assess their public procurement laws and practices at all levels of government in order to promote more effective procurement and reduce the risk of bid rigging in public tenders.

The Recommendation is a step forward in the fight against collusion in public procurement that the OECD has been leading for a long time especially through the 2009 Guidelines for Fighting bid rigging in Public Procurement and the work related to its dissemination worldwide.

In 2016, the OECD issued a report to show how competition and procurement authorities have been implementing the 2012 Recommendation. Read the 2016 implementation report (also available in French). 

 

OECD Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement

 

First adopted in 2009, the Guidelines are available for download in 26 different languages.

They are designed to reduce the risks of bid rigging through careful design of the procurement process and to detect bid rigging conspiracies during the procurement process. 

 

From advice to action: OECD in-country work on fighting bid rigging

 

The OECD reviews national and sector-specific public procurement regimes, to guide and support countries in combatting collusive practices. As part of these reviews or independently, the OECD develops wide-ranging capacity building programmes on fighting bid rigging in procurement, including workshops and training manuals, for public procurement, budget and internal control officials.‌ 

Mexico was one of the first countries to partner with the OECD to improve its procurement practices and step up its fight against bid rigging. In January 2011, Mexico's Social Security Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the OECD and Mexico's competition authority, thus becoming the first public agency to formally commit to adopt and implement the OECD Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement. Read more about the Mexico-OECD partnership for fighting bid rigging in government contracts

Today, the OECD works with more countries to help them fight bid rigging. It recently conducted a review of Colombia’s procurement practices and provided recommendations to fight bid rigging: view our 2014 report on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement in Colombia

Lessons learnt through the OECD work on fighting bid rigging have fed into the development of the 2015 OECD Recommendation on Public Procurement and the OECD Public Procurement Toolbox

 

CONTACT

The OECD welcomes comments on these materials in order to update them for future versions. 

For more information on them as well as the OECD work on Fighting Bid Rigging in general please contact:

Despina.PACHNOU@oecd.org or Antonio.CAPOBIANCO@oecd.org. 

 

 

 

Permanent URL: www.oecd.org/competition/bidrigging

 ‌

 

KEY DOCUMENTS
 

Recommendation

 

Guidelines

 

Flyer

 

2016 Implementation report 

Documents and links

OECD Recommendation on Public Procurement, 2015

Reviews of public procurement practices in partnership with Mexico 

Report on Implementing the OECD Recommendation on Fighting Bid Rigging, 2016 (also available in French)

OECD Recommendation on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement, 2012

OECD Public Procurement Toolbox

Guidelines for fighting bid rigging in public procurement, 2009

 

Collusion and Corruption in Public Procurement , 2010

Construction Industry, 2008

Public Procurement - The Role of Competition Authorities in Promoting Competition, 2007

Competition in Bidding Markets, 2006

Competition Policy and Procurement Markets, 1998

Policy Brief: Fighting Cartels in Public Procurement, 2008 


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