Integrity Pacts

Promoting transparency and integrity in public tenders

Integrity Pacts are a flexible tool to help ensure that public procurement projects are transparent, fair and free of corruption.

An Integrity Pact is an agreement between a government procurement authority and bidding companies. Tailored to each tender and country, it commits all parties to refrain from bribery, corruption or collusion.

A key feature of an Integrity Pact is the appointment of an independent monitor. Thanks to the monitor and a clear process for reporting, resolving and sanctioning integrity issues, all stakeholders, including businesses and citizens, can have greater trust in the process.

Since Transparency International pioneered the concept in the 1990s, Integrity Pacts have been used successfully in various forms in over 25 countries in a range of sectors.

In 2015, the Basel Institute on Governance collaborated with Blomeyer & Sanz in conducting a Learning Review on how Integrity Pacts had been used to date. Since then there has been renewed interest in using Integrity Pacts. For example, the European Commission is conducting a pilot project using Integrity Pacts in selected public works projects to prevent corruption and increase transparency and civic engagement in public procurement.

In the broader movement towards open contracting and clean contracting, Transparency International now describes Integrity Pacts as a "procurement approach" that combines:

  • the contract between procurement authorities and bidders; and
  • an independent monitor; with
  • transparent reporting to the public.

Key benefits

Good for governments

  • Demonstrates commitment to fight corruption and open government
  • Sends a strong message that public procurement processes will be clean and fair
  • Reinforces existing anti-corruption measures

Good for business

  • Levels the playing field in public procurement processes, boosting fair competition and innovation
  • Deterrent effect makes bribery less likely and helps avoid damaging accusations and investigations
  • Smooth procurement process means projects are likely to start and end on schedule

Good for citizens

  • Increased transparency helps build trust in government and business
  • Gives confidence that public resources are being used responsibly
  • Public works contracts are more likely to be awarded to the bidder offering the best value for money

A 5-step process

1. Commit to using an Integrity Pact

  • Identify a tender that will benefit from an Integrity Pact
  • Determine resources to pay for a monitor
  • Announce that an Integrity Pact will be used in the tender process

2. Engage a monitor

  • Identify a suitable monitor or monitors
  • Agree on the monitoring process, including how to identify, report and sanction potential integrity issues

3. Create and sign the Integrity Pact

  • Draft the Integrity Pact with the help of the monitor
  • Ensure all parties sign the Integrity Pact at the start of the process

4. Proceed with the tender

  • Set up communication channels between the monitor(s) and all parties
  • Respect the independence of the monitor(s) to investigate or manage any disputes

5. Maintain integrity commitment throughout the project

  • Consider maintaining the Integrity Pact commitments between the procurement authority and winning bidder during project execution
  • Analyse and report on the impact of the Integrity Pact to maximise transparency, trust and guidance for future tenders

Support in implementing an Integrity Pact

The Basel Institute on Governance offers comprehensive support to government procurement authorities in developing, implementing and monitoring an effective Integrity Pact.

Contact Gemma Aiolfi for more information.

Gemma Aiolfi

Head of Compliance, Corporate Governance and Collective Action
+41 61 205 56 74

Integrity Pacts resources

The following short selection of publications about Integrity Pacts is intended to be useful rather than comprehensive. If you would like to recommend a publication for inclusion in this list, please contact a member of our team.

To filter and search for a particular publication about Integrity Pacts or any other topic, please visit the main Basel Institute publications page.