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Public works contracts mean big business. From road-building to high-tech communication infrastructure, public procurement averages 15% of GDP in OECD countries – substantially more in non-OECD economies – and it is a major factor in the world trade of goods and services. The large volume of contracts and the very high stakes often involved – in terms of both money and prestige – are the driving force behind thousands of potential suppliers’ vying to win. And this can open the door to corruption. Left unchecked, a culture of corruption can take root, sabotaging a country’s financial and political well-being.
Given the growing complexity of bribe schemes in today’s globalised markets, the problem is how to identify corruption in public procurement so governments can work toward effective prevention and apply sanctions if necessary. This report provides insights on all three fronts. Based on contributions from law enforcement and procurement specialists, the report describes how bribery is committed through the various stages of government purchasing; how bribery in public procurement is related to other crimes, such as fraud and money laundering; and how to prevent and sanction such crimes. The typical motivations and conduct of the various actors engaging in corruption are also highlighted, as well as ten case studies.
The end result is a ground-breaking report that throws new light on the shadowy mechanisms and patterns of bribery in public procurement, and offers insider expertise that governments and international organisations can use to improve their anti-corruption policies.