"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Transparency in Public Procurement and the Common Fight Against Corruption

[Place] Biarritz
[Date] August 26, 2019
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. We firmly believe that enhancing transparency and eliminating corruption are common challenges for all societies and economies and are essential to building trust in our institutions.

2. We underline the importance of ongoing discussions regarding transparency in international fora and take note of the G20 Principles for Promoting Integrity in Public Procurement and its Leaders' endorsement of the Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment, the G20 Anti-corruption Action Plan 2019-2021, and the G20 Compendium of Good Practices for Promoting Integrity and Transparency in Infrastructure Development, which provide G20 and other countries with concrete integrity measures to ensure good governance in infrastructure projects while respecting States' sovereignty and ensuring debt sustainability and open and non- exclusive use of their infrastructure.

3. We urge Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to build on existing efforts to promote transparency and accountability mechanisms, to support projects that respect international law and prevailing standards, including the rule of law, human and labour rights, gender equality, and environmental standards, and to avoid unjustified disparities in the treatment of companies in calls for tenders. MDBs and other DFIs should help strengthen the procurement practices of borrower entities. Criteria for procurement should be based on lifecycle costs and value wherever feasible rather than strictly awarding for the lowest price. MDBs and other DFIs have a key role to play in promoting mutually reinforcing economic prosperity and stability in partner countries in full respect of their sovereignty, including by providing access to capital, jobs, skills, technical assistance and services that enhance local development objectives and economic opportunity for host country people. We encourage MDBs to help women entrepreneurs reap the full economic benefits of infrastructure projects, across all stages of the project cycle and to provide special support and advice for SMEs. MDBs have a role to play in promoting fair and equitable procurement and strengthening supply chains to provide quality jobs and pathways to economic advancement.

4. We strongly support existing initiatives that promote our common goals, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as well as other initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership (OGP). We recognise the role of open data in enhancing compliance with integrity standards in the performance of major public contracts, as well as in ensuring strong involvement by the different actors of civil society. We encourage open contracting tools and practices as an efficient innovative solution to the challenge of making procurement more effective, fairer and more transparent and fully taking into account the different levels of development of countries.

5. We underline the importance of international cooperation in the fight against corruption and money laundering, including the recovery and the return of the proceeds of corruption, as defined by the UN Convention Against Corruption. To that end, we call for the relevant provisions of international instruments to be effectively implemented by Parties, especially the UN Convention Against Corruption and the African Union Convention Against Corruption. We note the holding of the First African Anti-Corruption Forum in Egypt in June 2019, where it was affirmed, inter alia, that it is essential to effectively fight against corruption, illicit financial flows and tax evasion.