20 August 2015

Transparency International calls for openness in German procurement law

A new report by Transparency International criticises the draft version of Germany's new procurement laws for lacking openness, citing the stipulation that it is no longer mandatory to publish contracts awarded in national procurement procedures. Under the draft law, procurers would be given the choice to engage in either an open or restricted procedure, effectively meaning that the procurement could be carried out behind closed doors.

The global NGO rejects the law’s proposal to make the two options equally valid, strongly recommending that the priority of the open procedure be maintained. The report argues that a high degree of transparency and competition in public procurement procedures is vital to preventing corruption and a loss of competition. The authors also condemn the weakening of provisions to exclude previously penalised companies from the procurement process.

The report goes on to state that the new rules could lead to “interest-driven selection” which would be “to the detriment of fair competition”. It also warns that a lack of open procedures will result in significant overspending, in the field of tens of millions. The primary benefit of restricted procedures – that it saves time – is rejected as a poor justification when the possible outcomes are considered.

For more information, download the report. [PDF]