Ways to Fight Corruption in Government Procurement


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US government procurement is the method in which the federal government obtains services, goods and interests in real property. Not all people know the meaning of the word ‘procurement’, but in basic terms, it is the purchasing of products or services at the best value in the most possible time. Procurement is synonymous to acquiring, purchasing and gaining.

The Issue

Trillions of dollars are used annually purchasing goods and services for public plans. From power plants and dams, to schools and hospitals, it indicates huge financial budgets and complex projects. However, this also signifies opportunities for corruption.

Contracts to the suppliers can certainly be given with no fair competition. It enables companies having political connections to win over their opponents. Also, companies belonging to the same industry can do bid rigging, so that everyone receives a slice of the pie. It increases the value of services to the general public. In fact, corruption can add up to 50 % to a cost of a project.

What is on the Line?

Purchasing of goods and other services by public bodies on its own is roughly 30% of the gross domestic product. With a great deal of money-changing hands, some government functions generate greater temptations or maybe provide more opportunities for corruption. From an overall value of a public contract , approximately 25% may likely vanish into the wallets of the corrupt, losing each year to corruption.

Corruption in government procurement does not just mean wasted money of the citizens. This indicates that the needs of the public are not considered properly and fairly whenever projects are made and carried out; it weakens the quality of labor and services, which can also cause harm to the environment or even cost lives.

The Integrity Pact

The Integrity Pact is able to combine civil society, governments and businesses to fight corruption in public contracting, and by accomplishing this, help guarantee quality and value for money for the public. At its core is an understanding between a government agency or government and all bidders for a public sector agreement, which in turn establishes rights and responsibilities towards the effect that no party will take part in corrupt conduct.

Fighting Corruption

fighting corruption

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We all can help make sure that the taxpayers’ money is wisely spent. The government must provide top quality services, purchased at a reasonable price. It means they need a solid procurement system. The system should be transparent. This means we can see exactly what is going on.

Then we can hold governments, contractors and bidders responsible for their actions. Good procurement system is also formed by very clear regulations that comply with international standards. They are also overseen by good institutions that implement those regulations. They also give access to information and efficient complaints systems.

Specific steps can help us guarantee truthful procurement procedures. We need to push for commitments to sincerity by bidders for a contract and also the procuring government agency. It signifies promises from all relevant parties not to be a part of collusion, bribery or other corrupt ways.

When public contracting is transparent and participatory, key stakeholders, together with civil society and citizens, should be able to monitor the procurement method. Effective monitoring plays a crucial role in fighting corruption and ensuring that corrupt behavior is exposed and appropriately sanctioned.

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