Procurement Law and Anti-Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa
The project seeks to analyze the specific conditions within the procurement systems of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana, and their actual eligibility to reduce corruption in public procurement processes. In almost all countries in the world public procurement through government contracting represents a large – if not the largest – percentage of economic activity. Transparent procurement procedures and efficient organizational structures are essential in order to prevent corruption-caused distortions of competition. Due to the fact that corruption is considered as one of the major factors that hinder social and economic development, especially developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa have a strong interest in strengthening public procurement systems and curbing corruption. The procurement law systems and legislation of the above mentioned countries have been assessed repeatedly by the World Bank. A systematic comparative analysis of these still quite young procurement law systems will be the core of the research project in order to draw conclusions with regard to the actual status of implementation and effectiveness of different procurement methods and review instruments. The project considers socio-cultural and political implications as well as issues of international law and legal aspects of development cooperation. Information gained from various stakeholders such as public procurement authorities, national and international organizations and NGOs as well as interviews with scientific experts are the basis for the research result.
Project duration: February 2012 until August 2015
Funded by Fritz Thyssen Foundation
Procurement law in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda: A means to curb corruption?
Procurement law is one of the legal instruments to fight corruption in the public sector. Transparent procurement procedures, but also organizational structures that ensure efficient implementation and control of these procedures, constitute the basic prerequisites for a public contract awarding free of corruption-caused distortion of competition. During the past years, mainly at the international donor community’s urging, a number of new procurement systems have been established in the states of Sub-Saharan African that are particularly affected by corruption. However, not all expectations linked to these reform efforts have been fully met. A comparative law analysis shall examine the specific conditions under which procurement systems can be implemented successfully as an instrument to combat corruption in African states. The research will consider socio-cultural and political implications as well as issues of international law and legal aspects of development cooperation with regard to the design of the procurement systems. The research work will contribute mainly to the public-law subdomain in the field of Law and Development research. Due to the considerable influence that stakeholders of the multilateral and bilateral development cooperation have on the constitution of procurement systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, another focus of the research will be on international and administrative development law.
The research work will concentrate on three East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) in order to gain a comparative perspective on the topic. Despite their individual differences, these countries benefit from relatively stable framework conditions to establish good governance structures and, consequently, to set up efficient procurement systems. The applied methodology will concentrate on an institutional-functional comparative approach, with the legal procurement entities in the centre of the comparative law analysis (institutional comparison). The underlying research question is whether the norms of these authorities are qualified to contribute to an effective corruption control throughout the public sectors (functional comparison). In order to get further insight, especially concerning strengths and weaknesses of the new procurement law implementation, remote and on-site discussions and interviews with national institutions, NGOs, development organisations and academic institutes will be held.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn