WP 2021-06. Forthcoming in ‘Public Works Management & Policy’.
This paper intends to contribute to the discussion on public procurement by searching for patterns in information published on official portals connected to procurement projects in the Czech Republic. This article creates and uses a unique match of two datasets related to (1) procurement projects announcements and (2) the publication of public contracts, both compulsory by law in pre-defined sets of cases. To check the compliance and patterns in missing data, we focus on the spread of the estimated and final prices for individual procurement awards. In order to control for characteristics of the awards, we employ regression analysis to explain the spread more precisely. Our preliminary results are: we observe high compliance of publishing the contracts, we observe high censorship that may turn publishing contracts into a formal exercise, we find a high volume of legal exceptions (both not to announce and not to publish a contract, interestingly the latter without a monetary limit). The regression results confirm the expectations set by prior research (the number of bidders and open regimes lead to more savings of public resources), as well as bring new insights on the relation of spread to mistakes and publishing compliance (missing contract in a case when the contracting authority is legally bound to publish it is correlated with worse economic outcome of the procurement process; missing information signals worse outcomes as well). To download the paper, please click on the icon below.