Curbing Corruption in Public Procurement in Asia and the Pacific
2. Curbing corruption through transparency and fairness
Transparency and fairness are essential preconditions for containing corruption in public procurement. Transparency renders abuse difficult and increases the likelihood of detection. Also, as bidders must trust in the fairness of the process to participate in a tender, the perception of transparency is crucial in attracting the largest possible number of tenderers and increasing competition. Ample participation also protects against bribery, favoritism, nepotism, and collusion—forms of corruption that become difficult to sustain when many actors have stakes in the process. A transparent and fair procurement process requires legislative and administrative measures in four dimensions: transparency of the proceedings, protection against corruption-induced manipulation of the procurement method, fair prequalification procedures, and transparent and fair selection of the winning tenderer.
a. Transparent proceedings
Transparency requires, first of all, clearly defined procurement parameters—such as conditions of participation, eligibility of suppliers, timelines, requirements, technical specifications for the procured goods or services, criteria for the rejection of a bid or the disqualification of a supplier, criteria for the evaluation of offers, contract terms—and transparent and fair evaluation of all proposals and selection of the winning tenderer. Opaque dimensions create opportunities for corruption-induced manipulation. Thus, all these objective criteria must be clearly defined and stated beforehand. Second, information about the procurement procedures and their regulatory framework must be available to all potential suppliers in understandable terms. Third, transparency requires easy access by potential bidders to information explaining the procurement procedures, which must be comprehensive. Well-defined parameters To ensure...