Csaba SZILOVICS, PhD
University of Pécs, Law Faculty
Hungary

 

Abstract:

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs defined corruption in 2009 as „the abuse of public power or position for private gain”.
Based on this definition and the Hungarian public procurement it can be said that the use of public funds is a section of the government operations where unfair advantage can be obtained directly, in a way that the decision-maker can transform the public funds at its disposal into private funds with very low risk.
According to practical experience and research, the functions of the Hungarian state – mainly the system of public procurement – are greatly involved in corruption.
This is also backed by the respective study of Transparency International Hungary and Corvinus University Budapest from 2009.
According to an opinion in the book: „the government sector is corrupt to the core even the major government procurements”.
Table number 2 of the authors justifies this opinion: ,,Public procurement as a hotbed of corruption was the second most frequently mentioned issue by the interviewees.”
Similar reports came from GKI (Hungarian Economic Research Institute) issued on November 3, 2009 regarding the research on corruption of public procurements, which was based on 120 deep interviews (buyers, bidders, official procurement advisors) and a sociological model of 900 person involved (buyers and bidders).
Vértes András, president of GKI, summarized the research as such: „Corruption is a real issue in public procurements, and according to certain international organizations it is involved in 90% of the public procurement procedures, although this figure could be overestimated.
According to our research, the major part of the procedures is involved (although there is undue suspicion in certain cases) and approximately two third or three fourth of the domestic public procurements could be affected by corruption.”
Not even the Council of the Public Procurement Authority disputes the aforementioned involvement in corruption.
In their parliamentary report J/9457 of 2009 on the credibility, clarity and transparency of public procurements they frequently highlighted the influence of corruption on public procurements.
Firstly, they proposed a research in 2007, which is yet to have any official results.
Secondly, the report also highlights the fact, that observations made on corruption must be cautious: ,,the research obviously showed that bidders are usually far more aware and suspicious about possible corruption behind procurement procedures, than buyers”.
I would like to add that the attitude of buyers is not unexpected since their interest is to avert the suspicion of corruption.
Várday György, procurement officer, expressed his experience in a different way, stating that regarding procurement procedures 6 out of 10 are subject to some kind of problem.
As a jurist working in this field I am hardly as optimistic, as I think that we could find a problem in case of 8 or 9 out of 10 procedures.
Sometimes it would be enough to analyze the public procurement invitations, in which the subjectivity and intentions are impossible to be overlooked by the peer reviewers.
I would like to add, that a characteristic of the current legislation is that the peers are legally responsible for the invitations according to the civil law, however if the contracting authority places the invitation again without any correction then the Drafting Committee must publish the invitation that way.
The aim of this study is to examine the social background regarding the corruption of public procurement after a brief historical overview, through investigating the overlapping phenomena and highlighting the importance of the legislation and the compulsory citizenship behavior which could easily be a subject to the abuse of cunning perpetrators.

Attachments:
Download this file (2014v2_A11.pdf)2014v2_A11.pdf[About the Causes of Corruption in the Hungarian Public Procurement System]268 kB2016-06-22 17:28