Essential elements of an Integrity Pact
At their core, Integrity Pacts require three elements:
- Political will. Governments and/or contracting authorities must make a clear decision to apply an Integrity Pact to a public tender.
- An explicit written commitment to respect specific standards of integrity during a tender process. The text can be long or short and could be a standalone contract, a set of clauses in a wider contract or an annex to the tender documentation.
- Independent monitoring. Successful Integrity Pacts appoint independent external monitors to oversee the procurement process.
These basic elements can be combined in many different ways depending on the context. This makes Integrity Pacts an incredibly flexible tool. It also means that Integrity Pacts cannot be taken "off the shelf" but must be tailored according to the national legal context, industry sector and other factors.
Based on evidence and experience, the Basel Institute and Transparency International believe that independent monitoring is one of the three essential elements of Integrity Pacts, as described above. That said, not all Integrity Pacts appoint independent external monitors. Below is an overview of the four types of IP models seen to date.
Mandatory or voluntary signature?
Usually, it is mandatory for bidders to sign an Integrity Pact in order to participate. In some cases, though, the stakeholders have deliberately chosen to leave signing a voluntary act. In others, the national legal contexts do not allow for mandatory signature.
There are advantages to both approaches:
|Mandatory signature||Voluntary signature|
We recommend that while it is important to tailor an Integrity Pact to the national context, experience has shown that mandating signature is generally more effective at levelling the playing field and results in greater benefits.