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Corrupt Bidders

The UK will introduce a conviction check process to prevent corrupt bidders with relevant convictions from winning public contracts, and is committed to exploring ways of sharing such information across borders.

Country: UK

Status: overdue

Themes: Public procurement

Last updated: December 2020

Classification:

Concrete: Concrete | New: Somewhat New | Ambitious: Somewhat Ambitious

  • 3 Evidence:

    UK National Anti-Corruption Strategy Year 2 Update, Page 22

    Year 1 update UK Anti-Corruption Strategy

    HM Government, United Kingdom Anti-corruption Strategy 2017-2022

  • 7 Notes:

    In June 2018 the Crown Commercial Service trialed additional conviction checks for bidders. Transparency International UK encouraged the Cabinet Office to publish the results of the conviction check trial and state publicly what next steps will be, including lessons learned. TI-UK urges the Cabinet Office to conduct a proper public or stakeholder consultation on the guidance produced.

    The UK Anti-Corruption Strategy Year 2 Update states:

    “In 2018 we undertook a convictions check trial to see if any public contracts had been awarded to suppliers with convictions specified under Regulation 57 the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. The trial found that this had not happened but did identify a range of issues relating to obtaining convictions data outside the UK. We are considering how we can resolve access to international data for vetting purposes, as part of a wider programme of work on data sharing arrangements now the UK has left the EU.”

    The commitment remains overdue as the government has only done a trial and not yet actually introduced the conviction check process.

    Updated: October 31, 2020

    There has been no public indication of recent progress towards a conviction check process to prevent corrupt bidders with relevant convictions from winning public contracts. The deadline for the Government to publish its preferred approach was 2019. In the absence of evidence, the commitment is marked as "overdue".

    Peer reviewer: 1

    Updated: April 30, 2020

    The results of CCS additional conviction checks for bidders are currently being analysed according to the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy: 1 Year Update. The Government has committed to publishing its preferred approach in 2019, according to page 20 of the document.

    Updated: October 30, 2019

    In June 2018 the Crown Commercial Service trialled additional conviction checks for bidders, the results of which are currently being analysed according to the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy: 1 Year Update. The Government’s preferred approach is expected to be published in 2019.

    Updated: May 30, 2019

    The UK did not deliver against this commitment by its own deadline (December 2017), and we have not seen any public evidence that the Crown Commercial Service has introduced this new check.

    Updated: October 30, 2018

    The UK's Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-22 reiterated this commitment, stating that a trial conviction check process would begin in December 2017. As of the end of March 2018, this trial has not yet started.

    Updated: June 30, 2018

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