Integrity in Public Procurement


Public procurement is one of the government activities highly vulnerable to corruption.

The financial interests at stake, the volume of transactions and the close interaction between public and private sectors in the award of public contracts all pose risks to integrity.


  • It has been estimated that 10-30% of the investment in a publicly funded construction project may be lost through mismanagement and corruption (CoST, 2014).
  • More than half of foreign bribery cases occurred to obtain a public procurement contract (OECD, Foreign Bribery Report 2014).
  • More than 3 out of 10 companies that have participated in a public tender say corruption prevented them from winning (Flash Eurobarometer 428, 2015).


  • Unethical practices can occur in all phases of the public procurement cycle (pre-tendering, tendering and post-award phases). However, each phase may be prone to specific kinds of integrity risks.
  • Fighting corruption and enhancing integrity in public procurement cannot be summarized into one simple mechanism due to public procurement’s complicated structure and multiple risks areas.
  • Strengthened transparency, stakeholder participation, access, e-procurement as well as oversight and control can contribute to high integrity in the public procurement system and to fight corruption related to public procurement processes.


  • ‘Integrity’ is one of the 12 principles included in the 2015 Recommendation of the Council on Public Procurement, which build on the 2008 OECD Recommendation in Enhancing Integrity in Public Procurement.
  • The OECD is assessing the integrity of public procurement systems in the framework of Public Procurement Reviews and Public Integrity Reviews.