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Integrity Pacts

Corruption in public procurement harms the public interest, undermines public trust and has a negative impact on people’s lives. Integrity Pacts are an innovative tool that involves civil society monitoring of selected public procurement projects, to safeguard EU funds from the risks of fraud and corruption and to increase transparency and accountability.

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NEW: Training on Integrity Pacts for Programme Authorities of Cohesion policy programmes

DG REGIO is launching a new training module to support the EU Member States in implementing Integrity Pacts (IP) in selected public procurement projects financed by EU Cohesion policy funds. The training is designed for participants from programme authorities for Cohesion policy programmes and is provided free of charge.

  • An introductory module explains the rationale for Integrity Pacts and selection of projects (1 half day on 24/11/2022).
  • An advanced module provides hands-on training on setting up and implementation process (3 half days on 14-15-16/2/2023).

What is an Integrity Pact?

Tackling effectively corrupt and fraudulent activities is a challenging task and requires a complex approach. Civil society can give a valuable input in promoting transparency, accountability and preventing corruption and can act as an effective anti-corruption actor.

An Integrity Pact has two components and involves three parties:

  • a charter between a contracting authority and economic operators bidding for public contracts that they will abstain from corrupt practices and will conduct a transparent procurement process.
  • a separate contract with a civil society organisation which monitors that all parties comply with their commitment, to ensure accountability and legitimacy.

An Integrity Pact has multiple objectives:

  • to increase transparency, accountability and good governance in public contracting,
  • to enhance trust in public authorities and contribute to their better reputation,
  • to improve competition, promote cost efficiency and savings through better procurement.

The initiative is part of the broader action undertaken by the Commission in tackling fraud and corruption, as well as enhancing administrative capacity in the use of EU funds.

The Integrity Pact Toolbox

This practical toolbox aims to provide inspiration for Member State administrations seeking to develop Integrity Pact to monitor project financed from ESIF Funds and using public procurement. It aims to facilitate Integrity Pacts implementation and to encourage good practices. It builds on experiences from the Pilot Project on Integrity Pacts 2016-2021. In this pilot, 11 Member States organised the monitoring of 18 projects, with the monitoring of 15 civil society organisation, under the coordination of Transparency International.

Stemming from this Pilot Project, several tools aim to support future implementation of Integrity Pacts in the EU:

Handbook for setting up Integrity Pacts for Authorities, Monitoring organisations and tenderers

A practical guidebook detailing the three steps in the Integrity Pacts journey (advocating for IPs, setting up strong IPs, civic monitoring), based on extensive experience gathered through pilot projects.

Integrity Pacts in the EU: a practical guide to civic monitoring of public contracting projects

Guide for decisions makers

Collection of project cases highlighting key improvements to procurement projects achieved as a result of the pilot project, including lessons learned and key facts and figures for each of the 18 IPs.

Monitoring public contracting: Experience from 18 integrity pacts in the EU

Training for Managing Authorities and for monitoring organisations

A new training on Integrity Pacts as part of the series of training events organised by DG REGIO to support national and regional authorities responsible for the management of Cohesion Policy programmes.

Training for Managing Authorities and for Monitoring organisations

Communities of practice for Managing Authorities - coming soon

A dedicated space as part of the communities of practitioners provided by DG REGIO for administrators from different EU countries who are involved in managing EU funding under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund.

Communities of practice for Managing Authorities

Knowledge exchange hub for project partners and stakeholders - coming soon

The purpose is to offer a space for any interested participants to exchange about good practices and learn from partners’ expertise gained in implementing the Integrity Pacts.

Red Flags detection tool

A user-friendly and dynamic application drawing attention to potential fraud risks in a procurement process, based on contract notices and contract award notices published on the EU's Tenders Electronic Database.

Red Flags detection tool

Tender Defender – Cards on the Table!

A board game that helps civil society groups, journalists, activists, and others learn about public procurement and identify corruption risks that may arise.

Tender Defender – Cards on the Table!

Translations into EU official languages will be added progressively.

The European Integrity Pacts pilot project (2016-2021)

REGIO Peer2Peer +

17 projects selected to pilot the Integrity Pacts

Exploring innovative ways of improving efficiency in projects funded by EU funds, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and Transparency International have joined forces since 2015 to promote the use of Integrity Pacts (IP) as a tool to increase transparency and accountability, enhance citizens’ engagement and trust in public institutions, bring cost savings and improve competition and promote awareness and better understanding of public procurement.

The project ‘Integrity Pacts – Civil Control Mechanism for Safeguarding EU Funds’ covered 18 projects co-funded with cohesion policy funding in 11 Member States. The results will be widely disseminated in all Member States and we are already reflecting on how this experience can be scaled up in the context of the future long-term EU budget 2021-2027.

The initiative has been widely recognised as a success in bringing EU policies and administrations closer to citizens. It received the European Ombudsman’s Award for Good Administration 2019 in the category “Excellence in open administration.” The project was also included in the special G20 Compendium as a global good practice for promoting integrity and transparency in infrastructure development. It was also recognised as a best practice by the prestigious Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The central activities of the project were:

  • training and capacity building of selected CSOs to implement the project at country-level;
  • development and signature of the IPs by selected CSOs and their respective public authorities;
  • training and enhancement of knowledge of the relevant stakeholders, such as, contracting authorities, managing authorities, economic operators, on anti-corruption and transparency measures in the context of the IP approach;
  • independent monitoring of the IPs, performed and/or coordinated by the CSOs;
  • ensuring transparency and access to information related to the IP process and results for citizens in the participating EU Member States;
  • periodic sharing and capturing of impact, lessons learned and best practices for project partners as well as the broader public.

The Transparency International Secretariat ensured the overall coordination of the project and coordinated the CSOs performing the role of IP monitor, quality assurance of project implementation at all levels, promotion and dissemination of the project results, necessary training and capacity building, capturing and dissemination of impact, lessons learned and best practices.

To learn more about the Integrity Pacts Pilot Project and about individual projects under the Integrity Pacts Pilot Project:

REGIO Peer2Peer +

Final conference of the pilot project: Good Governance for EU Regional Policy - Building Transparency with Integrity Pacts in Europe (8-9 February 2022)

The Final Conference on Integrity Pacts presented the lessons learned from the Integrity Pacts Pilot Project, and discussed the future of clean contracting and investment in Europe. The Programme included:

  • 8/2: high level conference opened by European Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and the Chair of Transparency International Delia Ferreira
  • 9/2: knowledge exchange hub for practitioners of Integrity Pact projects.

Recording of both days of the Conference

Videos about Integrity Pacts

Useful information