Integrity pacts are anti-corruption tools for governmental authorities developed by Transparency International in the 1990s with the aim of reducing corruption in public contracting. The pact is, essentially, an agreement between a government or government department (at the national, sub-national or local level) and all bidders for public contract.
According to Transparency International (TI), Integrity Pacts are tools to combat corruption at the tendering and contract stage of procurement. They bind all the bidders and the government together in a contract to reduce the possibility of corruption occurring both during and after the tendering.
A defence Integrity Pact usually contains three main features:
As TI emphasises, integrity pacts are important as they supplement weak laws by making contractual requirements aimed at preventing and avoiding corrupt practices that could otherwise compromise the security sector capacity building process and put scarce public resources to waste. They also attract more bidders, give them more confidence, and provide independent monitoring and technical scrutiny. Integrity Pacts can reduce the high cost and distorting impact of corruption on public procurement, and help create a more hospitable investment climate and harvest public support. Integrity Pacts reinforce sanctions, thereby deterring corruption.
Integrity pacts stipulate rights and obligations to the effect that neither side will: pay, offer, demand or accept bribes; collude with competitors to obtain the contract; or engage in such abuses while executing the contract. The starting point is an agreement for the implementation of the pact between the government and a civil society organisation responsible for monitoring the pact. This agreement confirms the political will to implement the pact, defines the contracting process, and describes the activities, roles, and responsibilities of each of the parties involved. Transparency is required at every stage of the process. The content of the integrity pact should be agreed upon by civil society organisations and the government.
One of the main features of an integrity pact is independent monitoring. In most cases, monitors are members of civil society or experts appointed by (and reporting to) the TI Chapter and its civil society partners. The independent monitoring system aims to ensure that the pact is implemented and the obligations of the parties are fulfilled.
Integrity pacts involve and can be used by central, local or municipal government officials and agencies, private companies (the bidders) and civil society.
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