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 – 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, – the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative, (OCP), and , 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 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 , 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. (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’ (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 [email protected]

Supplementary downloads

Solicitude

Support Transparency International

Is Hungary’s assault on the rule of law fuelling corruption?

In June 2018, Hungary’s parliament passed a series of laws that criminalise any individual or group that offers help to an illegal immigrant. The laws continued worrying trends in the public arena that began with the rise to power of the Fidesz party in 2010. What are these trends, and what do they mean for the fight against corruption and the rule of law in Hungary?

Will the G20 deliver on anti-corruption in 2018?

This week, activists from civil society organisations all over the world gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the sixth annual Civil 20 (C20) summit.

Returning Nigerians’ stolen millions

The stakes are high in the planned distribution of $322 million in stolen Nigerian public money.

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

Transparency International has been at the Open Government Partnership's global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Why rather

Follow us on Why rather