Transparency in public procurement and e-procurement – what we know and don’t know



Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Description In Europe, public procurement accounts for up to 14% of GDP on average, making it one of the most expensive areas of government. Public procurement, where millions of contracts are awarded each year, is generally considered a high-risk sector for corruption and a source of public discontent in many countries around the world (OECD, 2016). In this context, transparency is seen as one of the most effective tools to prevent corruption and ensure value for money, and is also a core principle of public procurement (UNOPS, 2012). Meijer (2014) defined the term “transparency” as the availability of information about an actor that enables other actors to monitor this actor’s operation or performance. Transparency, according to Armstrong (2005), is the public’s ability to obtain timely and accurate information about government decisions and performance. The role of transparency in public procurement has been researched. Open and transparent procurement procedures promote competition and efficiency while reducing the risk of unethical or corrupt practises (Kosack & Fung, 2014; Piotrowski, 2007). People’s trust in a country’s institutions is strengthened when a comprehensive transparency framework is in place that enables them to hold public institutions and politicians accountable (Benito & Bastida, 2009; Cucciniello et al., 2017; Welch et al., 2005). Transparency in public (e-)procurement is becoming a more important academic topic, expanding both the scope and the perspectives studied. E-procurement systems are expected to lead to greater transparency than traditional procurement channels and have also significantly reduced the initial and ongoing costs of supervision (Furnas, 2013). Many studies have shown that e-procurement has a positive impact on the transparency of public procurement (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2011; Johnson, 2011; Nozadze, 2015). When it comes to transparency, e-procurement systems are important tools to ensure that all stakeholders have open access to relevant information on procurement and make contracting authorities more accountable to citizens (Becker, 2018; OECD, 2019). Although transparency in public procurement has been increasingly researched, the complexity of this issue is still not adequately addressed. The relationship between transparency and various aspects of the quality of government is “complex and nuanced” (Cucciniello et al., 2017). For this reason, some have questioned the value of transparency and the ability to improve the quality of governance (see Etzioni, 2010; Fukuyama, 2015). Motivated by the author’s dissertation that is focusing on, this study aims to summarize findings of systematic literature review, conceptualize the topics, point out existing research gaps and list points for future research agenda. The literature review will be conducted as a three-stage systematic review process. This study contributes to the body of knowledge by developing a knowledge framework that can help researchers get directions for future research to fill the gaps in the state-of the-art literature and improve effective research. At the moment, the collected works are being identified, recorded, and analysed, and further findings are unavailable. As a result, they are omitted from this paper proposal. They will, however, be prepared for the conference.
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