The Anticorruption Report Vol. 4: Beyond the Panama Papers

The final title in the series The Anticorruption Report covers the most important findings of the five-year-long EU-sponsored ANTICORRP project on corruption and organized crime. How prone to corruption are EU funds? Who wins and who loses the anticorruption fight? And can we have better measurements than people’s perceptions to indicate if corruption changes? This issue introduces a new index of public integrity and a variety of other tools created in the project.

The Anticorruption Report Vol. 4: Beyond the Panama Papers looks at the performance of EU Good Governance Promotion in different countries in the European neighbourhood. Case studies focussing on Spain, Slovakia and Romania are considering the impact of EU structural funds and good governance promotion within the Union. Further chapters looking at Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Tanzania are analysing EU democracy and good governance support in third countries. The report, edited by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi and Jana Warkotsch offers a comprehensive and overarching look at the successes and pitfalls of the EU’s efforts to democracy promotion and introduces new ways to assess the state of good governance in different countries around the world.

Waging Battle on The Anticorruption Frontline

ruslanThe demand for good governance is on the rise everywhere, from Kiev to Sao Paulo, Paris to New Delhi. But has any measurable progress been made recently? Do we know which countries are succeeding and why? Do anticorruption experts and policy makers understand public concerns about corruption?

The Anticorruption Frontline, the second volume of the FP7 ANTICORRP project policy report launched last week at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, finds less than encouraging answers to these questions: Despite increased effort to fight corruption worldwide, there remains little progress on the ground. Even in countries which have shown improvement, the use of public office for private gain remains an issue. Public opinion surveys tracking concerns about corruption are frequently misunderstood – by those being surveyed as well as those proposing anticorruption policy solutions.

New research by Prof. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi of the Hertie School of Governance shows that decreased confidence in the EU, especially in Western and Southern Europe, is linked closely to citizens’ perceptions of their national government’s ability to control corruption. This confidence has been eroded in the wake of the euro crisis, most markedly in countries with the worst growth performance. Central and Eastern Europe, however, remains the last bastion of trust in EU institutions, which is perceived largely as a counterweight to untrustworthy national institutions.

Two European case studies from The Anticorruption Frontline illustrate that EU funding regulations and anti-corruption legislation alone are no panacea for the rampant favoritism inherent in extant particularistic systems. Despite an improved Bulgarian anticorruption rating according to most accepted measures, findings from the Center for the Study of Democracy on Bulgarian governance show that the avoidance of market competition in areas such as public procurement remains the rule rather than the exception. In another chapter, Mihaly Fazekas’ unique data mining method on the awarding of EU structural funding uncovers systemic corruption in Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian public contracting methods.

Such preferential treatment – and its inherent abuse of power – is one of the most insidious forms of corruption facing the world today.  Further case studies from The Anticorruption Frontline include deeper analysis of Qatar and Rwanda, two countries singled out for their improvements on anticorruption measures, yet both of which still exhibit favoritism in public procurement, as well as a look into the corrupt bed of Ukraine‘s gas market, exposed in the wake of 2014’s uprising. As every case in the book makes clear, traditional measures of corruption often fail to measure the existence and subsequent impact of such exploitation of public trust for private gain.

The Anticorruption Frontline argues that further EU regulation is not the solution. As a multidimensional phenomenon, fighting corruption requires tailored policy approaches as well as sustained support in areas such as improving transparency and strengthening civil society. The answer instead may lie in a transition from EU co-financing of large public projects – where the risk of corruption is higher – to a more universal and non-discretionary allocation of EU funding, such as an Europe-wide unemployment benefit scheme.

The Anticorruption Frontline is available for purchase via Barbara Budrich Publishers.

Top Berlin Airport Official Accused of Bribery

Barely six months into his contract as Head of Technology for the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB)), Jochen Grossmann has been accused of demanding a half a million Euro bribe from a prospective contractor. This is only the latest in a long list of problems for the airport which is now estimated to be as much as €6 billion over budget and at least five years behind schedule (the FBB has actually declined to set a new opening date). Harmut Mehdorn, FBB CEO, has admitted that even more irregularities in the awarding of contracts could be found.

The notion that there might be more corruption in such a large-scale infrastructure project would come as no surprise to anti-corruption researchers. Indeed, recent research by the FP 7 ANTICORRP project showed that big infrastructural projects are prone to high levels of corruption. The concluding chapter of The Anticorruption Report Volume 1, Controlling Corruption in Europe stated: “Spending on new infrastructure projects, for example, allows the channelling of government resources to favourite companies either directly or through local or regional governments producing unnecessary outputs with high costs.”

While the corruption allegations are nothing new for a large infrastructure project, they are interesting in Germany which is usually held up as an example of good governance. The second chapter of the same ANTICORRP book placed Germany in a group of countries with relatively low risk of corruption, where control of corruption has largely been achieved and occasional incidences of corruption are handled successfully. Thus far, the case of the airport appears to be one where such incidences are being addressed quickly and publicly.

The FBB signed an Integrity Pact with Transparency Germany in 2005 and engaged local public procurement expert Professor Peter Oettel (Oettel is honorary professor at the Technical University Berlin and was former Head of the Department of Structural Policy for the city where he was responsible for overseeing public procurement) to work with TI in monitoring contract awarding for the airport. According to the FBB, this was the first time a German company took such a step, however, according to Transparency Germany; it took nearly a decade to convince the company to sign the pact.

The FBB also has an ombudswoman, an anti-corruption officer and an anti-corruption task force. The FBB reported the suspected corruption to public prosecutor in Neuruppin who then conducted a search of the office of two accused associates as well as the private premises of the chief suspect. The public prosecutor has described the situation as a “classic model of corruption in business dealings.” The task force is comprised of: legal experts, examiners from the FBB, outside legal experts, anti-corruption experts and a representative from Transparency International (TI) who will now review all the contracts awarded by Mr. Grossmann.

The bribery allegation against Mr. Grossmann, which emerged near the two-year anniversary of the cancelling of the open date, is the second publicised incident of corruption involving the airport in a little over a year. Last April, three men were charged with corruption after bribes were paid by firms wanting to secure airport contracts.

Corruption in public procurement will continue to be a key research focus for the ANTICORRP project, with the result of research on the impact of EU funds on control of corruption due later this year. A study released late last year by ANTICORRP researchers  Mihály Fazekas and István János Tóth compared public procurement processes involving EU funds and national funds in Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic and found that up to 1/3 of EU funds are touched by corruption.

EU Funds Curse? New evidence on the reciprocal impact between EU funds and corruption in CEE

Finding an accurate measure of corruption is a problem that has puzzled anti-corruption researchers for some years now. In the framework of the ANTICORRP project, researchers are currently trying to produce a new generation of indicators which allow comparisons across countries and time while being more concrete and specific than the first generation which are based on perception aggregates (for instance the Corruption Perception Index).

This new European paper takes an important step in that direction by using a technique known in audit studies as data mining. Under this method, researchers look for deviations from an ordinary, normal pattern to identify corrupt behaviour. In this paper, Fazekas et al.[i] use a newly created database of public procurement procedures in Central and Eastern European countries to reach three objectives:

    1. Create an instrument based on data mining to assess procurement risk which can be used to estimate across countries and time (to see, for instance, if reforms are working);
    2. Compare corruption risks of EU funded and national public procurement as well as estimate the value of EU funds allocated in a particularistic way; and
    3. Make recommendations on how to monitor EU funds more effectively.

Fazekas et al produced a series of studies [ii]  developing new corruption measures, of which “Are EU funds a corruption risk? The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe” is only the first to have major findings. These are as follows:

  • The authors prove that public market domination by certain companies or bids won by single bidders are significantly related to irregularities in the procurement process. They furthermore infer that an early sanction of such irregularities would be able to curb corruption. Using a database of over 120 000 public procurement procedures in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia they look for anomalies on two sides of each procedure: 1) at entry, unusual processes (e.g. an exceptionally short bidding period) and 2) at exit, unusual outcomes (e.g. the winning bid had no competition, or the winning company frequently wins bids, both indicating favouritism). Using inferential statistics they manage to link the former to the latter.
  • Fazekas et al. use their analysis of procurement process anomalies to calculate a corruption risk index (CRI) which expresses the probability of particularistic allocation of public procurement contracts. Particularistic resource allocation implies that prior explicit rules of spending are bent in order to benefit a closed circle while excluding others. Comparing CRI of EU funded and similar nationally funded procurement contracts, they assess the effectiveness of EU institutions to curb corruption. They find that EU funds represent higher corruption risks in Czech Republic (3%) and Hungary (8%) than comparable national spending, while in Slovakia EU funds are less risky than national funds (13%). Although Slovakia has a much higher level of corruption than the two other countries to start with.
  • In order to better gauge corruption risks in EU funds, the authors calculate the expected value of public resources allocated in a particularistic way by combining the probability of particularism and the value of procurement spending. They estimate that throughout 2009-2012 particularistic resource allocation affected 0.94% of GDP in Czech Republic, 1.15% of GDP in Hungary, and 1.61% of GDP in Slovakia. In total, they argue that the funds affected by particularism may reach up to 1.2% of their combined GDP which is an impressive figure especially when compared to the total amount of EU funds allocated to these countries: 3.3% of their combined GDP.
  • Despite coming with theoretically better legal protection attached, EU funds proved a double liability for public procurement as presented in this paper. First, because as the first ANTICORRP policy report, “Controlling Corruption in Europe” already warned, EU funds stimulate discretionary public spending (as compared to more predictable rule based spending, for instance on pensions). Second, because they seem to be targeted more by rent seekers resulting in a higher risk of funds being captured by a ‘favourite’ company.

Estimated value  of national and EU funded public procurement disbursed in a particularistic way, by country, % of 2009-2012 total GDP

grandcorruption_cee_graph

Source: PPC

Note: In order to arrive at an approximate  total public procurement spending figure, spending values based on announcements in the National Public Procurement Bulletins were approximated to total public procurement spending estimated by the OECD based on the system of national accounts (OECD, 2013). As the total public procurement spending figures are upper bound estimations and the proportion of EU funding within public procurement spending not reported in the National Public Procurement Bulletin is unknown, figures in the graph may be overestimations. 

Given the high risks, what can the EU do to better protect its investment and ensure that funds are disbursed in a more competitive and transparent manner?  The ANTICORRP policy team offers the following recommendations:

  • Introduce an EU-wide, real-time monitoring mechanism of EU funds spending designed to detect systematic fraud and corruption in public procurement using data mining techniques.
  • Increase national civil society capability for monitoring governance and controlling corruption at both national and local levels especially with regard to EU funds.
  • Consider re-allocating EU funding from discretionary investment projects which typically constitute high corruption risk, towards non-discretionary spending such as education.


[i] Mihály Fazekas, Jana Chvalkovska, Jiri Skuhrovec, István Janos Tóth, and Lawrence Peter King, (2013), Are EU funds a corruption risk? The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe. Published as through the Corruption Research Centre Budapest as CRCB-WP/2013:03 and through the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building as WP No.39 

[ii] Key publications are: Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J., & King, L. P. (2013). Anatomy of grand corruption: A composite corruption risk index based on objective data. CRCB-WP/2013:02, Budapest: Corruption Research Centre.

Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J., & King, L. P. (2013c). Corruption manual for beginners: Inventory of elementary “corruption techniques” in public procurement using the case of Hungary. CRCB-WP/2013:01, Corruption Research Centre, Budapest.

Fazekas, Mihály, István János Tóth, and Lawrence Peter King. 2013c. “Hidden Depths.The Case of Hungary.” In Controlling Corruption in Europe vol. 1, ed. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi. Berlin: Barbara Budrich Publishers, 74–82. ERCAS WP 37.

 

Are EU funds a corruption risk? The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe

Fazekas et al explore the impact of EU structural funds on institutionalised grand corruption in three countries where corruption is systemic – Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia – between 2009-2012. They examine whether EU funds have contributed to weakening institutional quality in terms of wasteful public spending and increased ‘legal’ corruption conducted through public procurement. By exploiting a unique pooled database containing contract-level public procurement information for all three countries they are able to systematically examine corruption risks associated with EU funding at the micro-level. The authors also develop a composite corruption risks indicator based on the incidence and logical structure of ‘irregularities’ in individual public procurement transactions.

Fazekas et al. ultimately claim that EU funding impacts institutionalised grand corruption in CEE in two ways: first, by providing additional public resources available for corrupt rent extraction; second, by increasing the controls of corruption for the additionally allocated funding. Their preliminary calculations indicate that the first effect increases the value of particularistic resource allocation in the three countries up to 1.21% of their GDPs, while the second effect decreases the value of particularistic resource allocation by up to 0.03% of GDP. However, the latter beneficial effect is entirely driven by Slovakia, which has a high national corruption risk level; while in Czech Republic and Hungary this impact is even negative. The authors conclude with several policy recommendations calling for a radical improvement of the monitoring and controlling framework.

Are EU funds a corruption risk? The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe

Fazekas et al explore the impact of EU structural funds on institutionalised grand corruption in three countries where corruption is systemic – Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia – between 2009-2012. They examine whether EU funds have contributed to weakening institutional quality in terms of wasteful public spending and increased ‘legal’ corruption conducted through public procurement. By exploiting a unique pooled database containing contract-level public procurement information for all three countries they are able to systematically examine corruption risks associated with EU funding at the micro-level. The authors also develop a composite corruption risks indicator based on the incidence and logical structure of ‘irregularities’ in individual public procurement transactions.

Fazekas et al. ultimately claim that EU funding impacts institutionalised grand corruption in CEE in two ways: first, by providing additional public resources available for corrupt rent extraction; second, by increasing the controls of corruption for the additionally allocated funding. Their preliminary calculations indicate that the first effect increases the value of particularistic resource allocation in the three countries up to 1.21% of their GDPs, while the second effect decreases the value of particularistic resource allocation by up to 0.03% of GDP. However, the latter beneficial effect is entirely driven by Slovakia, which has a high national corruption risk level; while in Czech Republic and Hungary this impact is even negative. The authors conclude with several policy recommendations calling for a radical improvement of the monitoring and controlling framework.

Transparency in Public Procurement Boosts Anti-Corruption Monitoring in Slovakia

In the past years, initiatives to track, collect, and store public data have multiplied across the world. A global movement for open data has taken shape, boosting the demand for increased government transparency and raising awareness about the right of citizens to check on governments and hold them accountable on a regular basis. However, several questions can be raised about how effective transparency can be in promoting good governance, and under which conditions that may most likely take place. Following this line of inquiry, the Sunlight Foundation, an organisation that supports government openness and transparency, is developing a series of cases studies on success stories in the implementation of technology enabled transparency policies in several countries. The first case study, conducted on the public procurement sector in Slovakia, was released last August and presents important findings regarding the positive impact transparency reforms and some remaining challenges.

The case study was based on numerous interviews, questionnaires and surveys with transparency activists, journalists, scholars, the Slovakian Government Office of Public Procurement and the Slovakian Business Alliance. They were inquired about the extent of corruption in public procurement in the country and the impact of reforms that have been put in place since 2011. According to interviewees, before the reforms corruption was considered to be one of the main barriers to doing business in Slovakia, and schemes to restrict competition for tenders or manipulate results in the contract management phase were the most common types of fraud. However, in response to an update of the European Union (EU) Procurement Directives, and motivated by high profile public procurement scandals, e-procurement and reverse auction mechanisms were introduced to improve the contracting system and the publication of all public contracts on a centralised online platform became mandatory.

According to the study’s findings, the most notable effects of these reforms were strengthening the monitoring capacity of civil society and media. Before data on public contracts were made easily available, the only tool that transparency activists and journalists had to get a hold of such information was to submit requests based on the Freedom of Information legislation, which were not always granted and severely delayed monitoring activities. But more than just facilitating monitoring, increased transparency has dynamised the civil society and media oversight community, leading to a broadening of activities in this area and also to stronger organisational capacity. Additionally, interested citizens are now able to engage directly with this kind of data and assist media and NGOs in their work. Citizen engagement also contributes to strengthen public pressure when corruption is uncovered. Regarding the impact of increased transparency on the occurrence of corruption in public procurement, however, all interviewees agreed that it has not helped to reduce corruption significantly. They pointed out that weak enforcement and accountability mechanisms still allow officials and business people to act with impunity in this area.

The main challenges that still remain are linked to the need for improvement in the format in which data is made available, so that those engaged in social monitoring can access the data in a more effective and time-efficient manner. Until now, a lot of resources have been invested by NGOs to collect and process the data to present them in a more accessible format to the general public, and ideally this should be the starting point from the sources of data themselves. An improvement in this direction would lower entry barriers in the oversight process even further.

Overall, the Slovakian case supports the idea that transparency may be necessary, but not sufficient to fight corruption effectively. In the absence of strong institutional avenues for enforcement and accountability, transparency contributes to strengthen public pressure, but this is not always enough to guarantee that corrupt practices have consequences for those involved.

The series of case studies will continue with the publication of analyses of public procurement in the Philippines, at the national level, and in Tamil Nadu, India and Sydney, Australia, illustrating the implementation of transparency policies at the sub-national level.

(The picture featured above is from sunlightfoundation.com.)

 

New Index Evaluates Transparency in Slovak Public Companies

TI-Slovakia’s ranking reveals lack of transparency and high politicisation of state- and city-owned companies

 

Transparency International (TI) Slovakia has released a ranking measuring the level of transparency in 45 state- and city-owned Slovak companies. The new tool comes in response to media reports of abuses in the administration of such firms, and to findings of previous studies showing high corruption risks in the sector.

Another motivation to assess the level of transparency in Slovak state companies comes from the fact that freedom of information legislation in Slovakia applies to them only with restrictions. According to an article by TI-Slovakia’s executive director Gabriel Sipos, published on Transparency International’s blog, they are exempted from most of the requirements of access to information laws because of their semi-commercial status. Thus their activity is less transparent and harder to control when compared to government institutions.

In order to produce the ranking, TI-Slovakia evaluated the companies’ websites, sent requests based on freedom of information legislation, and collected data from external databases, such as the website of the Office for Public Procurement. In addition to the 45 selected national companies, 15 foreign state-owned companies were assessed for comparison.

The index revealed a poor level of transparency within state-companies. TI-Slovakia concluded that the biggest public companies are the least transparent. Out of the 45 national companies evaluated, only one scored “B+”, 8 scored “B” or “B-”, and the rest received lower marks. One third did not reply to the information requests, although it is mandatory for them. Moreover, two thirds of the companies refused to disclose salaries and CVs of their CEOs.

Another finding of the study refers to the level of politicisation in state-owned companies. TI-Slovakia’s analysis showed that about two thirds of those companies’ supervisory board members and board of directors’ members are replaced within one year after the parliamentary elections, and only 10% of them stay longer than one term in their positions. This seems to be strongly connected with the lack of transparency in those companies.

The release of the ranking and its media coverage has already generated reactions by some politicians and administrators towards efforts to improve the level of transparency in state-owned companies. The Minister of the Economy, Tomáš Malatinský, for instance, declared that he would implement TI-Slovakia’s recommendation to publish contracts of state company managers. TI-Slovakia aims to repeat the ranking biannually in order to provide the basis for future analysis of the evolution of transparency in state-owned companies in Slovakia.

The picture featured above is from digiphile.wordpress.com.

 

“Thank You, I Don’t Take Bribes”- an Initiative to Remedy Corruption in the Slovak Health Care Sector

The Medical Trade Unions Association (LOZ) in Slovakia has recently launched an anti-bribery campaign to end the common practice of slipping white envelopes containing money in doctors’ pockets. According to an article by The Slovak Spectator, the campaign seeks to convince doctors throughout the country to wear badges reading “Thank you, I don’t take bribes”, the campaign’s slogan.

Initiators have also set up a website where doctors participating in the campaign become visible. Nearly 300 doctors have already joined. Patients are also encouraged to play an active role in this campaign by reporting cases of doctors requesting bribe. In order to facilitate communication, the initiators of the campaign have asked the Health Ministry to open a hotline where bribery can be reported.

The campaign has raised the debate on where the difference between bribes and gifts lie, and where doctors should draw the line. According to the Slovak Spectator, giving small gifts to doctors is a culturally accepted practice, and in fact many doctors interviewed by the newspaper have claimed that they have at occasion accepted gifts such as flowers and chocolate. Some hospitals have started to develop codes of ethics that address this issue. LOZ representatives have admitted that the campaign is not addressed to patients that offer these kinds of gifts, but rather to the clear bribery practice of handing envelopes with money to doctors.

Survey data on perceptions and experience of corruption among citizens help paint the picture of the dimension of the problem in Slovakia. According to the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer, conducted by Transparency International, one out of four households in Slovakia declared that they paid a bribe to obtain services in the health care sector, reported the Spectator. On a comparative perspective, findings also showed that “Slovakia’s health care system was perceived to be the 18th most corrupt out of 88 countries surveyed”.  Patients stated that they paid anywhere from tens to thousands of euro in order to receive “priority on operation waiting lists or above-standard service.”

Gabriel Šípoš, director of Transparency International Slovakia, offers some insights on what is behind the corruption in the health sector in the country. “One of the reasons patients in Slovakia bribe doctors is their feeling of powerlessness and ignorance of their rights […]Many people don’t know of any alternative, […]patients often want to ensure better treatment, but can’t be sure whether they will actually get it.”, declared Šípoš in an interview to TASR newswire. Therefore, this campaign targets a main cause of corruption, by showing patients that they can have access to quality medical services without bribing.

Nevertheless, experts remain sceptical about the potential results that this initiative could achieve. Roman Mužík, from the Health Policy Institute, for instance, mentioned that initiatives to stigmatise corrupt practices and create public pressure can be successful sometimes, but there are examples where this approach did not reach the expected impact. Mr. Šípoš also declared that the campaign is a positive step in signalling to patients that bribery is not necessary to get a good service, but he also highlighted that other measures are required to effectively curb corruption in the health sector. He argued in favour of policies to define clearly what patients should expect from their health care packages, and to communicate this effectively to users.

The picture featured above is from srxawordonhealth.com.

 

TI Releases New Study on Corruption Risks in Eastern European Countries

A new report released by Transparency International (TI) examines the main corruption risks in four Eastern European countries, namely Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. According to the study, reforms to strengthen democratic institutions and the anti-corruption legal framework in these countries, undertaken largely as part of their accession process to the European Union, have not been successful in minimising corruption risks, and the danger of political influence over fundamental control institutions remains.

The report points out that some of the institutions resulting from those reforms have in fact been weakened or entirely abandoned by dominant political actors after the accession. According to Miklos Marschall, Deputy Managing Director at Transparency International, “the laws and institutions against corruption in the Visegrad region will remain empty shells without a meaningful commitment to transparency. Most important is that high level public servants and politicians declare their assets and interests, public institutions must be independent from influence and there needs to be better checks on party financing”.

TI’s new report, based on national surveys assessing the strength of the anti-corruption frameworks of these four countries, captures some important similarities and differences in the region. Among the common risks identified in the study are weaknesses in party financing regulation and vulnerabilities related to corruption in the business sector. Nevertheless, some of the positive aspects raised are related to the relative independence and leeway of civil society and media and the importance of investigative journalists and bloggers in exposing corruption in these countries.

For more detailed information on the report, please read the press release “Post-communist institutions failing to stop corruption in Visegrad countries” on transparency.org.

 

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Slovakia

This paper looks at corruption in Slovakia, the government’s strategy to reduce the levels of corruption and the citizens’ perception of the problem. In addition, it describes what civil society organizations have undertaken to tackle the issue of corruption.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Slovakia

This paper looks at corruption in Slovakia, the government’s strategy to reduce the levels of corruption and the citizens’ perception of the problem. In addition, it describes what civil society organizations have undertaken to tackle the issue of corruption.

Ti Slovakia Launches Public Procurement Portal

Transparency International’s national chapter in Slovakia has launched a new online platform that discloses information on public procurement procedures since 2005. The website, called “Open Public Procurement“, gathers data on more than 30,000 contracts worth more than 22 billion euros.

The website provides detailed and aggregated information sorted according to procurers, suppliers, sectors and regions. The objective of this initiative is to offer users with information to analyze competitiveness of public procurement or elements of market concentration.

Read the press release “Transparency Launched Open Public Procurement Site” on transparency.sk.

INFO Act of the Year – Competition (formerly: The Biggest Friend and Enemy of Information)

The project was designed as a competition: individuals and organizations could nominate a public institution/government body as positive or negative example for providing information based on the Freedom of Access to Information Act (FOIA); at the end of each year the “winner”” was given an award (http://www.infocin.sk/).”