Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2011

Corruption and Public Procurement

May 2010

Transparency International


Public procurement affects all aspects of people’s lives and assumes a large share of government budgets. The acquisition of buildings and land by municipal and national governments, the construction of roads, the provision of health and education services, and the construction and operation of drinking water and sanitation systems are just a few examples of public investments that involve procurement. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has estimated the value of government procurement markets worldwide to be US$ 2 trillion annually.1 Wherever such large quantities of money change hands, the risk of corruption is high.