Due to the lack of monitoring capacity, law enforcement is typically able to investigate a small portion of likely corrupt cases. To remove obstacles to corruption detection and investigation we set out to combine Big Data analytics with extensive civil monitoring of ongoing contracts in Catalonia (Spain), Italy, Lithuania, and Romania. We build on our prior EU-funded projects making public procurement data and corruption risk indicators available (opentender.eu) and a citizen reporting tool dedicated to monitoring public spending (monithon.eu).
We depart from other EU-funded projects, such as Integrity Pacts, by focusing on a larger number of more easily monitored projects (i.e. less complex, less technical). We create networks of civil monitors and law enforcement agencies to draw on civil society’s extensive reach and on-the-ground monitoring capacity. We create a dedicated reporting standard bringing together quantitative corruption risk indicators and detailed civil monitoring results to produce high-quality, targeted and operationally relevant reports for law enforcement and other public authorities. The direct impact of the project is to generate new investigations and other administrative responses to irregularities in contract implementation. Our intense monitoring activities send a powerful signal to corrupt organisations, likely resulting in a broader preventive impact. Sustainability of our networks and efforts is central to our approach. We build replicable and lowcost skills development components in the project, supporting further monitoring.
Updates to opentender.eu and the Monithon civil monitoring platform will be key deliverables in the project. Opentender.eu will be available with more frequently updated public procurement data, additional public procurement integrity indicators and visualisation resources. Monithon.eu will be extended to include a reporting template for civic monitoring of contract implementation at the local level. Under the skill development component of the project, we will develop a training programme for local civil monitors, with manuals, guidelines, checklists and further training materials to be made available online for the general public as well.