Demonstrating transparency and integrity in public tenders
Integrity Pacts help governments ensure that public procurement projects are transparent, fair and free of corruption.
An Integrity Pact is simply an agreement between a government procurement authority and bidding companies. Tailored to each tender and country, it commits all parties to refrain from bribery, corruption or collusion.
Thanks to an independent monitor and a clear process for reporting, resolving and sanctioning integrity issues, stakeholders and members of the public can have greater trust in the process.
Since Transparency International pioneered the concept in the 1990s, Integrity Pacts have been used successfully in over 25 countries in a range of sectors. In some countries, like India, they are used in all public tenders above a certain value.
The European Commission promotes the use of Integrity Pacts in selected public works projects to prevent corruption and increase transparency and civic engagement in public procurement.
A 5-step process
- 1 Commit to using an Integrity Pact
- Identify a tender that will benefit from an Integrity Pact
- Determine resources to pay for a monitor
- Announce that an Integrity Pact will be used in the tender process
- 2 Engage a monitor
- Identify a suitable monitor or monitors*
- Agree on the monitoring process, including how to identify, report and sanction potential integrity issues
- 3 Create and sign the Integrity Pact
- Draft the Integrity Pact with the help of the monitor*
- Ensure all parties sign the Integrity Pact at the start of the process
- 4 Proceed with the tender
- Set up communication channels between the monitor(s) and all parties
- Respect the independence of the monitor(s) to investigate or manage any disputes
- 5 Maintain integrity commitment throughout the project
- Consider maintaining the Integrity Pact commitments between the procurement authority and winning bidder during project executio
- Analyse and report on the impact of the Integrity Pact to maximise transparency, trust and guidance for future tenders
- Demonstrates commitment to fight corruption and open government
- Sends a strong message that public procurement processes will be clean and fair
- Reinforces existing anti-corruption measures
Good for government procurement authorities
- Levels the playing field in public procurement processes, boosting fair competition and innovation
- Deterrent effect makes bribery less likely and helps avoid damaging accusations and investigations
- Smooth procurement process means projects are likely to start and end on schedule
Good for business
- Increased transparency helps build trust in government and business
- Gives confidence that public resources are being used responsibly
- Public works contracts are more likely to be awarded to the bidder offering the best value for money
Good for citizens
- Basel Institute on Governance and Blomeyer & Sanz, Learning Review: Transparency International’s Integrity Pacts for Public Procurement, 2018
Support in implementing an Integrity Pact
The Basel Institute on Governance offers comprehensive support to government procurement authorities in developing, implementing and monitoring an effective Integrity Pact.