The Integrity Pact (IP) in public procurement procedures is a tool for prevention of corruption and opaque management of public funds. The IP was developed by the global anti-corruption movement Transparency International. The Pact represents a written contract between a contracting authority and tenderers in the procedure for public procurement awarding, which lays out the opportunity of independent civil monitoring, conducted by independent external observer.
The main goal of the Integrity Pact implementation is to support the efforts of the public institutions, business sector and civil society in several directions:
- Prevention and counteraction of corruption in public procurement;
- Improved efficiency in public funds management;
- Better conditions for access to public funds by the business.
Implementation of the IP in public procurement contributes to:
- Enhancing of transparency and integrity of tenders;
- Encouragement of cooperation between public administration and business;
- Early warning and identification of potential challenges;
- Effective civil control over performance of the bidders and the contractor of the public procurement;
- Effective civil control over performance of the contracting authority;
- Modernization of public administration;
- Promotion of business integrity and ethical standards.
CONTRACTING AUTHORITY in the IP is a public authority (within the central or local government) which conducts the public procurement procedure. Obligations of the Contracting Authority include securing of access to information to the Independent Observer in regard with the preparation and conducting of the tender, as well as in regard with the contract implementation.
TENDERERS are the other party in the Integrity Pact. Tenderers are all natural or legal entities entitled to bid for a certain contract implementation. By acceding the Pact, tenderers express their commitment to follow rules and procedures for business ethics, to not violate fair competition principles and to ensure to the Independent Observer access to documents and information, which are bound up with their participation in the public procurement, and if awarded the contract – of its implementation.
INDEPENDENT OBSERVER is the third party of the Integrity Pact, which does not have direct interest in public funds allocation. The Observer should be an independent non-governmental organization possessing good reputation and professional expertise in carrying out independent civil monitoring.
The main principles of action of the Independent Observer are professionalism, integrity and impartiality. It observes all stages of the tender, that is, preparatory stage, bidding and contracting procedure, and contract implementation. The Observer ensures publicity of the process by disclosure of its findings.
The Bulgarian model of the Integrity Pact was developed by Transparency International – Bulgaria based on numerous expert evaluations, sociological surveys, analyses of national legislation, comparative studies, and research on international know-how in the public procurement, concession and privatization procedures. It is elaborated in accordance with the Bulgarian legislation and represents an additional instrument for increased transparency and integrity in one of the most problematic areas of governance – the awarding and execution of public procurement.
The Integrity Pact in Bulgaria is opened for accession to all bidders in a certain tender. The accession to the IP is voluntary.
TI – Bulgaria performs its monitoring function under an Integrity Pact usually based on previously concluded cooperation agreement or memorandum of understanding with the respective contracting authority. Such an agreement is designed to ensure cooperation, information exchange, and transfer of expertise between the Contracting Authority and the Observer.
The pilot implementation of Integrity Pacts in Bulgaria took place in 2012 – 2014. Further details regarding the pilot implementation and the specific tenders are available below.
Currently TI – Bulgaria is Independent Observer in the public procurement procedure for design and construction of the Zheleznista tunnel within the Lot 3.1 of Struma highway.
Integrity Pact in the tender for Design and Construction of Zheleznitsa tunnel Lot 3.1 Struma Motorway 2017
On October 16, 2017 Transparency International – Bulgaria and the Road Infrastructure Agency signed the Integrity Pact to the public procurement procedure for design and build of the Zheleznitsa tunnel along Struma motorway. The tender has been relaunched for the third time by the contracting authority after failure of the two previous procedures.
The independent civil monitoring of the public procurement of Zheleznitsa tunnel is being implemented within the Clean Contracting initiative financed by the European Commission.
Integrity Pact in the tender for Design and Construction of Zheleznitsa tunnel Lot 3.1 Struma Motorway 2015
On November 30th 2015 Transparency International – Bulgaria and the National Company “Strategic infrastructure Projects” (NCSIP) concluded and opened for accession to tenderers the Integrity Pact in regard with the public procurement procedure for design and construction of Zheleznitsa tunnel Lot 3.1 Struma motorway.
Pursuant amendments of the Roads Act (State gazette no. 30 of 15.04.2016) the Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA) is designated as assignee of the NCSIP. With the conclusion of an addendum to the Integrity Pact, RIA publicly engaged themselves with the Pact in the role of Contracting Authority.
The public procurement procedure, subject to observation under this Pact, has been terminated in April 2017.
On November 27, 2012, Transparency International – Bulgaria and the Road Infrastructure Agency concluded Integrity Pact in the public procurement procedure with subject: “Selection of a Contractor to Execute the Design and Construction Works of Struma Motorway Section: Lot 2 “Dupnitsa-Blagoevgrad” from km 322+000 to km 359+000”.
The Integrity Pact in the tender for construction of Lot 2 of the Struma motorway was signed based on the cooperation agreement concluded in 2009 between TI – Bulgaria and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. Pursuant this document our organisation implemented a number of initiatives for monitoring of infrastructure projects.
The following companies have acceded to the Integrity Pact: Aktor S.A., Consortium “Struma Lot 2” (Impresa S.p.A., GBS Infrastructure Construction Ltd., Patstroy 92 Ltd.), and Association “Struma 2012” (represented by Hochtief Solutions AG).
The monitoring of this tender was a part of the pilot implementation of IPs in Bulgaria under the “Increasing Integrity through Advocacy: Counteracting Corruption in Public Contracting” project funded by the Integrity Initiative of the World Bank and Siemens. The action was implemented by Transparency International – Bulgaria in 2011 – 2014.
Integrity Pact with the Ministry of Health in the reconstruction of homes for medical and social care for children 2012
On August 15, 2012, Transparency International – Bulgaria and the Ministry of Health concluded Integrity Pact in the public procurement for “Reconstruction of Homes for Medical Care for Children from 0 to 3 Years Old”.
The Pact was acceded by two of the bidders namely, Consortium “Radita LTD and Stroycommerce” and Technokom. The latter was awarded the contract for implementation of Lot 5 of the tender.
The Integrity Pact in the procedure for reconstruction of homes for children medical care was implemented by TI-Bulgaria within the “Increasing Integrity through Advocacy: Counteracting Corruption in Public Contracting” project.
Integrity Pact with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in the selection of consultants for the development of national system for electronic data exchange 2012
On July 4, 2012, Transparency International – Bulgaria and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) concluded Integrity Pact in the public procurement procedures for selection of external consultants in Project Management, Information Technology and European Harmonization. The tenders were conducted within the “Development and Commissioning of National System for Electronic Data Exchange in Area of Social Security” project in the framework of Human Resources Development operational programme 2007 – 2013.
To the Integrity Pact acceded all three selected contractors – Mr Dimitar Georgiev, consultant in Information Technology, Mr Bonislav Radev, consultant in Project Management, and Ms Veselina Encheva, consultant in European Harmonization.
The independent monitoring of the three tenders was implemented under the pilot implementation of the Integrity Pacts in Bulgaria. The action was part of the “Increasing Integrity through Advocacy: Counteracting Corruption in Public Contracting” initiative by TI – Bulgaria.