Procurement Riddles (Part 1)

June 3, 2014

One field where the “fight” against corruption has been perhaps the least effective is procurement, rather referred generally as contracting. It is difficult to put it more bluntly. The technical director (now on leave) of the company in charge of building the Berlin Airport (BER) is currently being investigated for alleged bribery. In his former role as consultant to this same company, and apparently with powers to award contracts, he may have requested a bribe in the amount of 500 thousand Euros to award a contract[i]. In Colombia, 9 thousand km away and more frequently badmouthed than Germany, a few years ago two brothers and their cousin organized a simple and effective scheme of bribes, revolving doors and conflicts of interest to successfully secure visible infrastructure contracts[ii]. The good thing in both cases? Prosecutors are looking into the matter. The annoying commonalities? This is corruption 1.0: we are not talking about sophisticated, complex, high-tech schemes that would escape expert scrutiny. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shopping for Governance

November 19, 2013

I used to like Gerard Depardieu’s performances until he said he would become Russian -just to avoid paying taxes in France, and went on to praise Russia’s democratic character[1]. He could at least have saved the last bit.  There is however something revolutionary in his decision: the idea, that one could choose (as opposed to endure) the government one submits to. Read the rest of this entry »


Corruption, Transparency and Foreign Investment: a contribution to the US BIT Model review

August 19, 2009

This is the note containing a commentary I submitted in the context of the  2004 US BIT Model review. Looking forward to your reactions. Juanita Olaya (c) Klick here for the full text


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