Integrity Pacts - civil control mechanisms for safeguarding EU funds, Phase 2
- Transparency International-Secretariat
- TI-Czech Republic
- Romenian Academic Society
- Insitute for Public Policy
- Action Aid (Italy)
- Stefan Batory Foundation
With 11 parnters involved in 17 Integrity Pacts, there is a large number of stakeholders who cannot all be named.
All partners work with:
- Managing Authorities who own the projects to be monitored
- Contracting Authorities implementing the projects to be monitored
- bidders/contractors (wining or participating in bidding)
- Local communities impacted by the projects (especially thorugh social accountability activities)
It is estimated that €120 billion are lost each year due to corruption in European countries. Corruption in public procurement harms the public interest, undermines public trust and has a negative impact on people’s lives. To address this problem, Transparency International has developed an independent, multi-stakeholder civil control mechanism, called the Integrity Pact (IP), that fosters transparency and accountability in public contracting and, in so doing, reduces risks of corruption. The European Commission embarked on a partnership with TI to pilot this approach in projects co-funded by Structural and Cohesion Funds. The overall project for safeguarding EU funds was split into two phases. The first phase took place in 2015 and was the initial preparatory phase to secure participation of national authorities and civil society organisations in different EU Member States, and to identify potential projects for Integrity Pact implementation. It also entailed a learning review of past expierence with Integrity Pacts in order to learn lessons for future application.
The TI Integrity Pacts (IP) - Civil Control Mechanism For Safeguarding EU Funds, Phase 2 Project is a four year project running from 2016 – 2019 involving 15 civil society partners in 11 EU countries. The project’s general objective is to “explore and promote the use of Integrity Pacts for safeguarding EU funds against fraud and corruption, and as a tool to increase transparency and accountability, enhance trust in authorities and government contracting, contribute to a good reputation of contracting authorities, bring cost savings and improve competition through better procurement”. The specific objectives are to: 1) Ensure integrity and accountability in 17 projects co-financed by EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, 2) Ensure transparency and access to information in 17 projects co-financed by EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, 3) Draw lessons from this pilot for future replication and mainstreaming of Integrity Pacts.
As part of their work, the monitors:
- established working relationships with contracting authorities, bidders and affected communities,
- signed integrity pacts with contracting authorities as well as bidders (when possible),
- developed activities with affected communities to enhance their interest in public procurement and their capacities to monitor such projects
- conduct monitoring of tender and contract documents as well as the implementation of the projects.
- Engage in advocacy towards biddes and contracting authroties to promoate best practices
- Engage in active communication of findings towards public and media
The project also developed a monitoring mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness of the Integrity Pacts in enhancing transparency and accountability.
This is a project where the partners involved where self selected through competition in an open call ran by the donor DG Regio. Those who fulfiled the selection criteria were selected to participated.
The scope of the initiative is public procurement projects funded by the European Commission.
The project’s general objective is to “explore and promote the use of Integrity Pactsfor safeguarding EU funds against fraud and corruption, and as a tool to increase transparency and accountability, enhance trust in authorities and government contracting, contribute to a good reputation of contracting authorities, bring cost savings and improve competition through better procurement”.