Corruption in Public Procurement: the Definition and a Case Study (Part I)

Jolanta Palidauskaitė, Simona Ereminaitė

Abstract


The article analyses corrupt practices inherent in public procurement. The existence of the different types of corruption enables authors to examine various cases of corrupt behaviour and motivation for corruption. A comparative analysis of public procurement legislation allows the authors to identify changes in the public procurement process after Lithuania joined the European Union. The study is primarily focused on the objectives of the legislation, types of public procurement, ethics and changes in the public procurement processes. After defining corruption in public procurement, the authors examine the public procurement legislation in Lithuania. The following research methods were used in this study: logical analysis and synthesis, analysis of scientific literature, comparative analysis and content analysis of the legislation.
Corruption is a rather recent phenomenon in public procurement. Public procurement itself was adopted in the public sector only recently; however, it quickly became one of the best instruments for the successful implementation of public policy. Therefore, corruption in public procurement is one of the most urgent economic problems. In their analysis of corruption in public procurement, scholars do not generally provide a definition for corruption; however, the universal definition of corruption may be applied in most cases. The existence of different types of corruption (individual or systematic corruption, high or low levels of corruption) creates the possibility for the authors to examine the motivation for corruption for both sides participating in the public procurement process.
Public sector procurement is often implemented by following complex procedures, and the process is heavily regulated. Both sides (a purchaser—public institution and their officials, and a vendor—business enterprise represented by businessmen) pursue private instead of public interests, but, as some scholars have noted, compete fairly and honourably. The authors emphasize that public procurement legislation in Lithuania was altered several times and at present complies with the requirements of European Union law. To improve the transparency of the public procurement process may require other managerial instruments in addition to the perception of corruption and the motivation for such conduct. Cases of corruption must receive adequate attention and corruption prevention programs should be implemented. Public sector organisations should train a specialist who would be charged with organizing the public procurement processes.

Keywords


public procurement; corruption; ethical principles

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603