The aim of the protection of market competition is primarily to create benefits for consumers and equal conditions for all entrepreneurs on the market, who, acting in accordance with the existing rules and competing on the market with the quality, price and innovation of their products and services, contribute to the overall development of the economy.

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CCA Workshop on Bid Rigging in Public Procurement in collaboration with OECD

In collaboration with OECD, on 10 November the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) organized a workshop stressing the importance of fighting bid rigging in public procurement. The workshop was held by Hendrik Bosshammer, project manager, Southeast Europe Division, OECD, and Wouter Meester, competition expert, Competition Division, OECD, with participation of the members of the CCA Council and the CCA staff.

The bid rigging workshop presented examples of how to identify markets more prone to bid rigging, how bid rigging can be detected (red flags), and how the risks of bid rigging can be minimized. Joint action can be a highly effective way to combat corruption and promote integrity and economic growth. In practice, this involves creating a strong community of various stakeholders who share the belief that corruption produces long-term harmful effects and entrusting this community to define fair rules between competitors and adhere to them. In addition to achieving better economic results, such action enhances reputation, and therefore the economic attractiveness of the countries where such initiatives are implemented.

Effective competition policy is a crucial prerequisite for creating a level-playing field for all. In this context, essential are legislative frameworks for combating bid rigging in public procurement that constitutes a significant portion of government spending. Therefore, the workshop extensively discussed specific tools and checklists, international best practices, and examples. Experience from 12 projects conducted by OECD in recent years was shared, providing a detailed overview of key learnings and success factors in the fight against bid rigging in the OECD countries.

In 2019 the Republic of Croatia initiated a project with the OECD Regional Programme for Southeast Europe to enhance competitiveness and integrity in a sustainable and inclusive manner, titled “Fair Market Conditions for Competitiveness in the Adriatic Region.” The project aims to strengthen business integrity and competitiveness in three pilot countries in the Adriatic Region (Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and is focused on anti-corruption policies as a key framework for ensuring fair market conditions.

The project’s objective is to bring together government officials, business representatives, civil society, and the academic community to form a “Collective Action” to address country-specific deficiencies by applying international standards through:

  • Raising awareness of the OECD standards and best practices in the fight against corruption, integrity, and fair competition for competitiveness with governments, businesses, and civil society;
  • Building capacity and encouraging the implementation of concrete OECD recommendations regarding the transparency and effectiveness of anti-corruption and competition authorities;
  • Promoting the latest insights on international standards and practices in the areas of anti-corruption and integrity for competitiveness in academic curricula and programs.