Novel analytical and monitoring tools for assessing state capture and corruption risks have been developed by numerous organizations across Europe but they have been very slowly adopted by the public institutions responsible for the fight against corruption and financial frauds on both national and EU level. The same applies for the implementation of open data and interoperability standards in important public IT systems, such as public procurement, integrity registers, etc. Similarly, journalistic investigations concerning domestic or international cases of suspected grand corruption and large misuse of public money very rarely have come under the scrutiny of law enforcement authorities. The reasons could be very different but one should be highlighted – many local, national and even European institutions do not have the necessary administrative and professional capacity to implement legally complex, technologically sophisticated and often – cross-border, investigations. Thus, the European union need to further develop its capabilities to work together with the relevant stakeholders, incl. civil society organisations, researchers and investigative journalists, and moreover – to speed up the accommodation of novel approaches and data-driven monitoring tools into the design and implementation of its polices.
These were some of the conclusions from the online meeting and discussion, held on 26 March 2020, with participation of experts on state capture and anti-corruption, which shared their experience on using new approaches, based on big-data analytics, media monitoring, expert-opinion and investigative journalism.
The discussion is a part of the CSD efforts to pioneer a novel methodology for state capture assessment and monitoring as a policy tool, which allows for comparison across countries and economic sectors. In his presentation, Dr. Todor Galev, Senior analyst with CSD, outlined the major features of the innovative three-dimensional approach for assessment and monitoring of state capture, piloted through the SceMaps initiative in three high-risk sectors and in four countries. The approach integrates three dimensions of data and analyses, each of them applying separate methodologies:
- assessment of state capture per sector or country through experts assessments and company data analyses, applying the SCAD methodology, as well as estimation of the effectiveness of the institutional anti-corruption policy implementation, applying MACPI methodology;
- big-data analytics, aggregating tendering and company data, outlining procurement concentration and red flags for irregularities; and
- media alert system about suspicious behaviour by companies and contracting entities
Full summary of discussion, agenda, Power Point presentations and video recordings are available at the SceMaps website.