OECD Public Governance Reviews

2219-0414 (online)
2219-0406 (print)
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This series includes international studies and country-specific reviews of government efforts to make the public sector more efficient, effective, innovative and responsive to citizens’ needs and expectations. Publications in this series look at topics such as open government, preventing corruption and promoting integrity in the public service, risk management, illicit trade, audit institutions, and civil service reform. Country-specific reviews assess a public administration’s ability to achieve  government objectives and preparedness to address current and future challenges. In analysing how a country's public administration works, reviews focus on cross-departmental co-operation, the relationships between levels of government and with citizens and businesses, innovation and quality of public services, and the impact of information technology on the work of government and its interaction with businesses and citizens.


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Implementing the OECD Principles for Integrity in Public Procurement

Implementing the OECD Principles for Integrity in Public Procurement

Progress since 2008 You do not have access to this content

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21 Nov 2013
9789264201385 (PDF) ;9789264048898(print)

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With procurement accounting for 13% of GDP and a third of government expenditures on average in OECD countries, investing in appropriate processes to mitigate risks of waste and corruption leads to efficiency gains considering the financial stakes. In 2008 OECD countries committed to promoting transparency, integrity, good management as well as accountability in procurement with the adoption of the OECD Recommendation on Enhancing Integrity in Public Procurement. This assessment of progress made in OECD countries shows that as a result of austerity measures governments have been under tight budgetary constraints to provide smarter procurement, that is better service delivery at lower cost. Because environmental protection has become a growing societal imperative, the review of progress made shows that there is a strong political push in OECD countries to integrate environmental considerations in procurement. With the economic crisis, some governments have been tempted to use procurement to ease its socio-economic impact on societies by providing a substitute for direct social policies to support employment for specific communities. However few governments have invested in prioritising the objectives pursued through procurement, assessing their costs or benefits, and measuring their actual impact.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    Procurement is an important tool for ensuring sound, effective and transparent management of public resources. Accounting on average for 13% of GDP, procurement represents a third of government expenditures in OECD countries, with local governments carrying out more than half (55%) of these expenditures. Procurement is also increasingly used as a strategic instrument to pursue government objectives, such as job creation, innovation, environmental protection, and the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). At the same time, however, it is the activity with the highest perception of bribery risk.

  • Executive summary

    Efficiency and value for money are key principles which guide government action, especially in times of fiscal consolidation. With procurement accounting for 13% of GDP and a third of government expenditures on average in OECD countries, mitigating the risks of waste and corruption is essential for ensuring a sound management of public funds.

  • Why clean public procurement matters

    Procurement is a key economic instrument for achieving government objectives in a clean way. This chapter looks at how to prevent waste and corruption in procurement as well as promote sound stewardship of public funds. It also shows its importance for ensuring effective public service delivery, in particular in the health sector.

  • What have been the main drivers of reforms in countries since 2008?

    In an era of fiscal austerity, governments are recognising the potential of procurement to improve public sector productivity through savings and economies of scale. This chapter outlines the main drivers for procurement reforms since 2008 and how the Recommendation on Enhancing Integrity in Public Procurement supported these efforts. It also draws on the lessons learnt from the OECD procurement peer reviews.

  • Is procurement used for too many objectives?

    Governments increasingly use procurement as a policy lever to support various objectives such as green growth, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises or innovation. This chapter explains how the financial crisis has given a new impetus for governments to use procurement to achieve socio-economic objectives. It explores the conditions under which procurement has proved effective to achieve these objectives.

  • Are governments capable of mitigating risks of waste and corruption?

    Considering the economic importance of procurement, having professionals with adequate knowledge and skills is essential to mitigate risks of waste and corruption. This chapter reviews the gap between the lack of capability in the procurement function and the vulnerability of procurement to corruption. Specific attention is paid to risks of corruption in the contract management and in the defense sector.

  • A strategic role for public procurement

    Public procurement is organised as an administrative rather than a strategic function in many OECD countries. Ultimately it is essential that governments verify that the objectives of procurement are achieved, whether these are value for money, or other objectives such as sustainable development and international trade. This chapter highlights crucial areas for reform in member countries and makes proposals on how the OECD could support this agenda.

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