Today I want to talk about the particular importance of competition in public procurement. In most countries, this is one of the largest government spending activities, accounting for 4.3 trillion euros in OECD countries alone in 2013. In Brazil, public procurement represents just over a quarter of total government expenditure.
To tackle these challenges and mitigate their effects, the OECD is working in a wide spectrum of policy areas: anti-bribery, public procurement, lobbying or money laundering. Strengthening the role of internal controls and audit functions is one of our key tools to help combat corruption and fraud.
Thank you for joining us at the 3rd OECD Integrity Forum, our anti-corruption platform where policy makers, business, civil society and other stakeholders unite in the fight against corruption. This year we focused on the nexus between corruption and investment. Not a small challenge.
The OECD has been a successful international standard-setter for over 50 years, and we have developed a wealth of experience and best practice in achieving international cooperation and coordination. But to bring international law into the 21st century we need a global dialogue, a multi-stakeholder debate on the way forward.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge Partnership is a new and important weapon in the international anti-corruption arsenal. The OECD has also made tackling corruption a priority.
Africa has made significant progress in recent years but important challenges to African development remain that we can break down into three linked areas. Let’s call them the “three i’s”: interconnectedness, investment, and inclusiveness.
Corruption is at the very heart of this mistrust. Among those who reported trusting business or government less over the past year, the most frequently given reason was corruption or fraud. We have to step up our efforts to combat corruption and recover public trust.
Corruption undermines trust in policy, it erodes the quality of public administration, and it distorts incentives, taking its toll on investment and growth. Corruption also locks in privilege and inequality, and it can be a factor of oppression. In short, we must stop it, said OECD Secretary-General.
Global corruption is one of the greatest challenges of our era: it distorts markets, weakens our governments, raises the costs of doing business, promotes inequalities and erodes our sustainable development efforts, said OECD Secretary-General at Chatham House.
The fight against bribery and corruption demands a collective response. We need to assemble the brightest minds and keep sharing knowledge to combat this curse. Especially now (...) when corruption, coupled with growing inequality, are causing a serious loss of trust in our societies and in the institutions we have built in the last 100 years, said Angel Gurría.