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Monday, October 22 • 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Envisioning the Future of Integrity in Infrastructure: Holistic Approaches for Managing Corruption Risks Across the Public Investment Cycle

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Infrastructure projects carry a multitude of positive benefits to economies and societies as a whole.  Investment in public infrastructure allows governments to respond to policy challenges, foster sustainable economic growth, and ultimately improve the well-being of citizens. Yet, infrastructure projects are notoriously vulnerable to corruption and fraud due to their size, complexity and investment value. When corruption risks materialise in infrastructure projects, the environment, economy, and citizens may suffer. With investment constituting 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) in OECD countries[1], governments are expected to manage corruption risks in order to ensure that resources are used effectively, and that projects are implemented to the highest standards of quality and integrity.

 Throughout the life cycle of an infrastructure project, governments are required to navigate various sectors and industries, bringing together a multitude of actors that may pose different corruption risks. Indeed, the OECD foreign bribery data[2] shows that 57% of cases involved bribes to obtain public procurement contracts, and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in particular are vulnerable to corruption also resulting also from their close relationship with decision makers.

Due to their complex nature and evolving timescale, large infrastructure projects bring with them considerable integrity and corruption risks at each stage of the investment cycle. From the exercise of undue influence or capture during the preliminary stages to opaque practices in the procurement cycle and suboptimal performance in the implementation and operation phases, corruption risks can derail the effective delivery of infrastructure projects and divert public investment from its intended use. Corruption in infrastructure can cause environmental, safety and health risks. Moreover, it has a significant opportunity cost: at a global level, a country with high levels of corruption tends to invest less in education and health systems and more in prestigious infrastructure projects that do not always have obvious benefits for society.

This session will explore the strategies and mechanisms by which governments, contractors, and other key actors involved in the selection, design and delivery of public infrastructure can effectively address corruption risks. From ensuring due diligence is undertaken in the preliminary selection phase to designing resilient procurement and management strategies and tools, the session will offer a holistic perspective on effective risk management of corruption risks in public infrastructure. Drawing from the panellists’ own experience and the OECD’s standards and evidence base, participants will consider the main challenges for managing risks across the project cycle, as well as the tools and measures that can be adopted to ensure that public infrastructure projects are delivered in line with the principles of integrity, effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency. Among other initiatives, this could include e-procurement, collective actions, applying the High-Level Reporting Mechanism, as tools for safeguarding integrity and combating corruption in infrastructure.
  [1] OECD (2016), Integrity Framework for Public Infrastructure, https://www.oecd.org/corruption/ethics/Integrity-Framework-For-Public-Infrastructure-Brochure.pdf
[2]  OECD (2014), OECD Foreign Bribery Report: An Analysis of the Crime of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials,  http://www.oecd.org/daf/oecd-foreign-bribery-report-9789264226616-en.htm


Irene Hors

Deputy Director for Public Governance, OECD


Guillermo Luis Fiad

President, Trenes Argentinos Infraestructura, Argentina

Pravin Gordhan

Minister of Public Enterprises, South Africa
avatar for Christiaan Poortman

Christiaan Poortman

Senior Advisor/Chair, Transparency International/Construction Sector Transparency Initiative
Christiaan (Chrik) Poortman is a Senior Advisor to TI, including representing TI, at the Climate Investment Fund. He is the Chair of the Board of the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST). Chrik is a member of the Board of the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) which... Read More →

Hamid Sharif

Managing Director, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Yama Yari

Minister for Public Works, Afghanistan

Workshop Coordinators

Monday October 22, 2018 3:30pm - 5:30pm CEST
Workshop Room 5
  High Level Open Session
  • Organiser Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)