3. CRITICAL ISSUES IN THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS
Sector vulnerability There are some sectors of the economy that are more prone to corruption. According to Transparency International’s Bribe Payers Index, construction and public works rank as the industry sector most prone to corruption.33 The extractive industries of oil, gas and mining follow close behind.
Negotiated procedures A negotiated procedure is an exceptional procedure which allows contracting authorities to negotiate the terms of the contract with a bidder and award a contract without a sealed bid. Although limited to situations, for example, where the nature of the works, supplies or services are such that prior overall pricing is not possible or where collusion is suspected, the negotiated procedures can be used to subvert the competitive bidding process and therefore should only be used when objectively and publicly justified.
33 Transparency International, Bribe Payers Index (2011): http://bpi.transparency.org/bpi2011/results/
3.2 CHECKLIST FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS This section highlights some of the key elements of each procurement phase and “red flags” that should lead procurement officials to “think twice” about the integrity of the process. There are some red flags that arise at every stage of procurement: complaints by bidders about the conduct of the procurement, the absence of an independent appeals process and anonymous complaint mechanism and the failure of procurement officials to quickly resolve appeals and respond to complaints. Much more detailed guides to the procurement steps and red flags can be found in U4 Corruption Resource Centre’s The Basics of Integrity in Procurement and Transparency International – USA’s Procurement Monitoring Guide: A Tool for Civil Society.34
34 See U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, U4 Basics of Integrity in Procurement: www.u4.no/publications/the-basics-of-integrity-in-procurement/; Transparency International USA, Procurement Monitoring Guide: A Tool for Civil Society: www.monitoring.transparency-usa.org/.
Curbing Corruption in Public Procurement A Practical Guide