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Combatting public procurement criminality or simple rules for complex cases

Bijan Nowrousian (Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Studienort Münster, Germany)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 7 January 2019




Crimes that take place in the context of procurements, such as corruption and subsidy fraud, are a major problem for both integrity and fiscal accountability of public administration. Therefore, combatting such crimes is of great importance. However, this course of action works only if the prosecutors have the instruments designed for what is precisely needed for their fight. One of the things needed is elements of crimes that can be handled easily; and to show this is the purpose of this study.


The author’s practical experience as a state prosecutor dealing with corruption cases and enriched with philosophical thinking about the principles of law indicates that one thing is especially important with regard to the elements of crimes: simplicity.


Corruption and financial crime cases are quite often very complex, involving many participants and considerable effort by the perpetrators to disguise their real actions as normal business procedures. As a result, finding evidence is a difficult task. If the elements of crimes are complex and if they demand detailed evidence, then proving procurement criminality will be even more difficult as it already is and will quite frequently end up in failure. Therefore, giving prosecutors a simple legal framework with elements of crimes, demanding only what realistically can be proven is a key factor for success.


Only with such a simple legal framework can the prosecutor’s fight against procurement criminality bring urgent, positive results.



Nowrousian, B. (2019), "Combatting public procurement criminality or simple rules for complex cases", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 203-210.



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