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Combatting corruption and collusion in UK public procurement: Proposals for post-Brexit reform

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Every year the UK government spends billions of pounds purchasing goods, works and services that are vital to growth, development, health and social welfare. Performed well, public procurement helps a government to nurture competition, save money, and provide better public services. These benefits will not be reaped, however, if the system is not protected adequately from distortion by corruption and/or supplier collusion. This paper concludes that additional measures are required to protect the integrity of procurement processes in England & Wales through improving the distinct public procurement, anti-corruption and competition regimes and uniting them around a cohesive strategy. It advocates policy coordination and enhancements designed to yield major benefits to public procurement as the UK seeks to develop its own policies post-Brexit and to grapple with the demands that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on public purchasing and the public purse.

Disclaimer: The research was supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.