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OECD Papers

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Transparency and Accountability as Tools for Promoting Integrity and Preventing Corruption in Procurement

Possibilities and Limitations

This paper seeks to identify the way in which opportunities for corruption arise in the context of procurement. In looking at the government as a buyer, it considers the position of the procurement officer acting as agent on behalf of the elected government. Whilst the paper does not ignore the significant impact of corruption at the political level (either for the personal gain of politicians or for the benefit of political parties, for example), it concentrates on the opportunities this agency relationship offers to the procurement officer to deviate from his duty to act in the public interest. The paper investigates the divergence between the agent’s personal interest and that of the government and of the public and narrows down the opportunity for such deviations to the existence of informational asymmetries.

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