Supporting clean procurement
A flexible tool to raise transparency and fairness in public procurement and reduce corruption risks
Integrity Pacts are a flexible tool that can help make public procurement more transparent and fair and reduce the risk of corruption.
An Integrity Pact is usually an agreement between a government procurement authority and bidding companies. Tailored to each tender and country, it commits all parties to refrain from bribery, corruption or collusion. An Integrity Pact typically involves an independent monitor and a clear process for reporting, resolving and sanctioning integrity issues.
Integrity Pacts have been proven in various cases to
Increase trust in public procurement among governments, businesses and citizens
Increase competition by levelling the playing field
Reduce the costs of procurement and contract implementation
Prevent delays in the tender cycle or project implementation
Integrity Pacts do not guarantee these benefits. In some cases, a lack of political will has led to parties not complying with the requirements and monitors withdrawing from their role. In others, cost increases or delays in the tender or contract implementation have been unavoidable. However, even in these cases the Integrity Pact has helped make the reasons for delays or cost increases transparent, increasing trust and fairness.
Exploring the evidence
Since Transparency International pioneered the concept in the 1990s, Integrity Pacts have been used in hundreds of procurement projects in at least 32 countries in a wide range of sectors.
In 2015, the Basel Institute on Governance and Blomeyer & Sanz conducted a Learning Review analysing the use and impact of Integrity Pacts based on rigorous research and surveys. Additional countries have implemented Integrity Pacts since then, expanding the evidence base. The European Commission launched a six-year project in 2016 that has deployed Integrity Pacts in 18 projects in 11 EU countries.
The toolbox for promoting integrity, transparency and corruption prevention in public procurement has expanded greatly in recent years. What is the comparative advantage of each of the tools? In which contexts are Integrity Pacts most valuable? Practitioners agree we need more clarity, coherence and critical analysis.
About this resource
Developed by the Basel Institute's Collective Action team in 2020 under a project funded by the KBA-NotaSys Integrity Fund, this online resource aims to provide practical and accessible insights into the what, why and how of Integrity Pacts. It is designed for anyone intending to promote, design, implement, monitor or observe an Integrity Pact, including:
- Governments and procurement authorities
- Private-sector actors participating in public tenders
- Civil society organisations
- Technical experts in various industries
To learn more, explore the pages below. You'll also find examples of real Integrity Pacts in our database, several case studies, plus a resources page with our recommended toolkits and other publications.
Find out about...
What’s at stake for suppliers, customers and business integrity in general
Insights from practitioners and members of local certification initiatives
Selected initiatives and publications on local certification
Examining Integrity Pacts around the world
The following case studies illustrate the variety of positive impacts that Integrity Pacts can have on public procurement - even if they "fail". To find out about a wide range of Integrity Pacts around the world and download useful templates and samples, please visit our Integrity Pacts database.
Integrity Pacts to Social Witnesses
How successful IPs in two dam projects led to the systematic use of Social Witnesses in public procurement
How Integrity Pacts can bring corruption to light even if they can't prevent it
Greater Karachi Water Supply
How an Integrity Pact reduced costs on a massive public works tender – and has since become law
How Integrity Pacts helped bring transparency, fair competition and value to a deeply corrupt sector
Notes and acknowledgements
We are grateful to the KBA-NotaSys Integrity Fund for supporting this project and the ongoing creation of this resource. We also warmly thank the many practitioners and business representatives who have contributed their time and experiences.
We have done our best to verify all information included on these pages, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy and take no liability for its use or misuse. We will be happy to receive corrections, suggestions, additions or requests for more information.