Table of Contents

Research Handbook on EU Public Procurement Law

Research Handbook on EU Public Procurement Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Christopher Bovis

The Research Handbook on EU Public Procurement Law makes a major contribution to our understanding of the EU public procurement regime, at a time when it is being implemented by the EU Member States, and of the pivotal role that this will play for the delivery of the European 2020 Growth Strategy. The internal market relies on a simplified regime in the European Union, which will result from procedural efficiencies and from streamlining the application of the substantive rules. The Research Handbook has comprehensive thematic coverage which includes: public procurement regulation, strategic procurement, justiciability in public procurement, public procurement and competition and public procurement and public service.

Chapter 16: EU public procurement and probity

Tünde Tátrai

Subjects: law - academic, european law, politics and public policy, public policy


‘The people who can best describe corruption are those themselves engaged in corruption.’ This chapter deals with the connection between public procurement and probity; it examines the legal background – including the previous Public Procurement Directives and the current new Directives – to the prevention of corruption and fraud in procurement procedures. Our assumption is that the use of traditional instruments may be inadequate in the struggle for ethical public procurement. Prevention and access to relevant, procurement-related information on the part of the legislator are as much part of the subject matter as the independent audit activity of the contracting authorities and the focus on the real meaning and content of probity. Public procurement is not the cause of corruption but a consequence of social and economic problems. A high level of corruption depends not only on the attitudes of the public procurement market, but also on that of society in general. The legal background can help prevent the misuse of public procurement but cannot change the habits of the market players. That is why it is necessary to use the Public Procurement Directives also to create a culture, to call attention to the fact that not only the conflict of interest rules or mandatory exclusion may lead to success in our endeavours for more ethical procurement.

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