Various studies have reported a positive connection between the public procurement and economic performance of a country, in terms of value for money, enhanced human welfare and improved economic growth. According to the World Bank, a distinction can be made between accountable governments where public procurement’s share of the GDP is over fourteen percent, medium accountability countries with a share of thirteen percent and low accountability countries with less than twelve percent. In response to the ever-increasing complexity of procurement, many disruptive innovations as well as rapid developments in digitalization are reforming global supply chains. The principles of a sound procurement system include accountability, competitive supply, and consistency, which when viewed together with ethics and good governance, become the corners stones of an effective, efficient, transparent, and reliable procurement system. Ethical risks are possible in every stage of the procurement process; however, e-procurement has become a powerful tool to curb fraud, corruption, and unethical behaviour in public procurement as it reinforces the ethics of transparency, accountability, and integrity in procurement functions. With e-procurement being a relatively new form of procuring goods and services, it has been up against several challenges, notwithstanding the proven benefits of using electronic means in procurement. The movement to e-procurement has been a slow process globally, but various countries such as Germany, Korea, Brazil, and Zambia have already started to reap the fruits of their efforts. The main benefit of introducing e-procurement recorded by the World Bank has been a marked upturn in transparency and competition. This chapter aims to unpack the link between technology, procurement, and ethics towards the provision of goods and services by governments for the greater good of all.
Part of the book: Factoring Ethics in Technology, Policy Making, Regulation and AI
Corruption is a broad concept involving various acts perceived to be illegal or unethical at the very least. Corruption is informally defined as any act which unfairly or illegally influenced a decision-making process, through giving or receiving of a benefit (monetary or otherwise) to the decision-maker or another party connected to the decision-maker. South Africa (SA) is known for its well-developed framework to promote sound public administration, consisting of the Constitution, supportive legislative instruments including the Public Finance Management Act, Municipal Finance Management Act and various National Treasury Regulations and Notices. Sadly, SA is also known for high levels of fraud, corruption and collusion amongst public officials with apparently very little consequence management to date. Corporate governance was institutionalised in South Africa (SA) through the four King Reports, which have since 1994 served as cornerstones with a Code of Good Practices and Conduct to promote ethical standards and curbing corruption in corporate governance. The article aims to draw conclusions from an in-depth comparative qualitative literature review of national legislative documents, reports and recent articles to determine the extent of corruption and how effective the current SA Public sector corporate governance framework measures at local government level are implemented.
Part of the book: Corruption