Mapping corruption in procurement

Adam Graycar (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Publication date: 7 January 2019



This paper aims to focus on understanding and preventing corruption in procurement in public sector settings. Just as not all corruption is the same, not all procurement is the same. One purpose is to analyze different types of procurements: standard, customized, intangible and complex. Corruption in procurement undermines public administration, and the purpose of this paper is to identify different types of procurements and provide readers with a framework for analysis and subsequent intervention.


In all, 42 actual cases of public sector corruption in procurement are examined, and from these, an analytical matrix is developed. These cases are derived from the reports of the New South Wales (Australia) Independent Commission against Corruption. These cases represent all of the procurement cases that the ICAC has taken to a formal hearing in its 30 years of existence.


While fraud is a major feature of corruption in procurement, there are significant organizational facilitators, and a number of slippage points in organizations are identified. These include peer culture, lack of due process, temptation and managerial incompetence/willful disregard, and these are built into a matrix which can be used in different countries or settings by readers wishing to understand and prevent different types of corruption in procurement in their agencies.


This paper uses cases that have not previously been aggregated or analyzed and provides analytical tools for practitioners and academics.



Graycar, A. (2019), "Mapping corruption in procurement", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 162-178.

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