In 2017, Lear Conference together with the Global Procurement Conference are organizing an international event: “Public Procurement Days”. During the three days, the two conferences will encourage an intensive exchange of ideas and experiences on issues of public procurement & competition policy.

Lear Conference 2017 “PUBLIC PROCUREMENT & COMPETITION POLICY” will bring together experts from a wide range of fields including academia, international organizations, law firms, public authorities and the private sector, encouraging a comprehensive debate on the current challenges related to competition in public procurement.

Among the covered topics:

Are competition policy and contracting authorities friends or foes? Which is the relationship between corruption and collusion? How to solve the problem of conflicting policy choices when tackling corruption and collusion? What are the screening tools developed to detect collusion in public procurement? How the availability of a large set of information (big data) may be exploited to enhance the reliability of these tools? Which type of circumstantial evidence can be deemed sufficient to legally prove bid-rigging? What measures can be adopted to encourage contracting authorities to seek compensation through actions for damages for the harm suffered by citizens and taxpayers?


Centro Studi Americani
Via Michelangelo Caetani 32

Meet DIGIWHIST researchers Mihály Fazekas and István János Tóth at the third session of the conference on 03.07.2017 from 15.00pm – 16.30pm and discuss with them during the Q&A after the session:

Third session – Screening tools and big data
Cartels conviction requires the collection of evidence that meets a high standard of proof. According to the EU case law, to prove an infringement the existence of an anticompetitive agreement must be the only plausible explanation of the observed behavior. Therefore, competition authorities look for documentary evidence to prove their allegations. However, firms have become very smart in concealing evidence of their misbehavior, making cartel prosecution very hard. Economics can help mitigating the problem in two ways. First, economic analysis can be used to select markets or cases in which illegal collusion is a plausible explanation of the observed outcome and participants’ conduct. These screening tools may help focusing investigations in those cases in which the actual existence of a cartel is more likely. Second, it may help collecting circumstantial evidence to be used to prove the infringement. Although this type of evidence is rarely sufficient to meet the required standard of proof, it can corroborate other pieces of evidence and contribute to a successful cartel prosecution.

The third session deals with screening tools. What are the screening tools developed in the economic literature? Are they effective? What are the risks of false positive or false negative? What is their data requirement? How the availability of a large set of information (big data) may be exploited to enhance the reliability of these tools? Who should be in charge of their use?

Francesco Decarolis, Boston University
Mihály Fazekas, University of Cambridge
István János Tóth, Corruption Research Center Budapest (CRCB)

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