The transformation of transparency – on the act on public procurement and the right to appeal in the context of the war on corruption

Journal of Business Ethics 73 (4):381 - 390 (2007)
This article discusses the alleged anti-corruption effects of procurement reforms by presenting the European Act on Public Procurement and the increasing number of appeals filed by suppliers due to perceived misevaluations of tenders and perceived impairments of transparency. The delays and costs that arise from this right to appeal are studied in the Swedish context with the aim of contributing to the debate on corruption in two ways. First, instead of using the modern definition of corruption, the ancient definition is introduced to explain anti-corruption efforts, focusing on corruption as deviations from a pristine standard as opposed to corruption as the abuse of public power for private gain. Second, it will be argued that the fight against corruption in the practical implementation of the European Act on Public Procurement jeopardizes efficiency and might devaluate competence. However, striving for the total elimination of corruption–an evil that has to be fought disregarding the consequences–is integral in the war against it.
Keywords corruption  efficiency  transparency  The European Act on Public Procurement  appeals
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