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Interim Progress Report: Professional Integrity Guidance Book

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  1. BIMILACI 2007 Interim Progress Report: Professional Integrity Guidance Book Promoting Integrity and Constraining Corruption in the Selection and Employment of Consultants Biennial Meeting of International Lending Agencies and the Consulting Industry May 10 -11, 2007 Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C. Chloe Schwenke, Ph.D. Lead Consultant, Center for Applied Ethics University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

  2. Professional Integrity Guidance Book • Part One ~ Executive Summary and Overview of Earlier Reports • Part Two ~ Policy Context • Part Three ~ Specific and Detailed Integrity Recommendations on Guidelines – Selection and Employment of Consultants by World Bank Borrowers • Anticipated completion of draft Guidance Book = June 30, 2007 5/11/2007

  3. Key Problems • UNSATISFACTORY RESULTS • Procurement system based on MDB Guidelines often fails to lead to well qualified, ethically motivated, timely, and cost-effective consultant services appropriate to the needs of the public • Current consultant procurement strategies are too complex, time consuming, labor intensive, and overly compliance focused • Quality and ethical performance not adequately measured or monitored 5/11/2007

  4. Key Questions ~ 1 • Guidelines: A Carrot as well as the Stick? • Who can be trusted? • Is a rational basis of trust between PA client and professional or expert consultant possible? • Ethically motivated? • Is there an appeal to professionalism? • A Flawed Process? • Do the existing Guidelines need to be revised (or rewritten) if ethical performance is to be achieved? 5/11/2007

  5. Key Questions ~ 2 • What else (outside of the Guidelines) can be done to improve procurement? • By donor institutions and MDBs? • By the public sector (Borrower)? • By professionals and experts? • By the public and civil society? • Is there a larger procurement reform agenda? • Can the Guidelines be applied to strengthen reform efforts? 5/11/2007

  6. Two Reports • Progress to date: • The “Ethics Report”: Preparation of Guidelines on How to Prevent Corruption and Promote Integrity in the Selection and Employment of Professional Consultants • The “Effectiveness Report”: World Bank Policy on Selection and Employment of Consultants: Study of its Effectiveness 5/11/2007

  7. Ethics Report’s Findings ~ 1 • Premise: Positive reinforcement (aspirational measures) + negative constraints (compliance safeguards) = improved ethical performance • Expanded role by the organized professions (including their registration boards and professional associations) • MDB + Borrowers jointly challenge the professions to demonstrate: • Leadership • Commitment to public service ideals • Willingness to hold their members accountable for ethical performance 5/11/2007

  8. The Ethics Report’s Findings ~ 2 • Implementing an aspirational approach: • Admit the problem: Many Borrower PAs are institutionally weak and growing weaker • Harness human capacity and desire to be ethical • Challenge PAs and consultants jointly to formulate measures to create a sustainable, credible, and rational trust mechanism: • To serve the public • To exemplify high professional standards • To take pride in respective important roles in development • To hold professionals and experts more accountable for the quality and success of their services, and for impacts of poor performance 5/11/2007

  9. Effectiveness Report’s Findings ~ 1 • Guidelines • Requirements are not clear or are contradictory • Emphasis on QCBS, used for 92% even though appropriate for just 40% • Cost wins ~ QCBS evaluation formula results in cost determining selection in majority of cases • Least recognized “victims” of current situation are the “good” consultants • Consultants: QCBS encourages lowest cost proposals = cutting corners • Emphasis on “least cost” = a rise in frustration levels among professionals and experts • Quality-oriented consultants abstain • Consultants abandon domestic consulting industry 5/11/2007

  10. Effectiveness Report’s Findings ~ 2 • Institutional weaknesses: • PAs failing to hire and retain “professional” procurement staff (indicates that broader procurement reforms are needed) • Double standards: • Guidelines stress transparency for consultants, yet are silent on EC transparency • Robust empirical assessment: • Procurement takes far too long, costs far too much, lacks essential fairness, and contributes to erosion of domestic consulting capabilities 5/11/2007

  11. Issues Being Examined in the Integrity Guidebook • The Public Interest • Increasing Complexity • Balancing Quality and Cost • Corruption and Integrity • Transparency and Accountability • Public-Private Partnerships • Consulting and National Development • Reforming Procurement • Political Will • Policy • Implementation 5/11/2007

  12. Roleplayers in Public Procurement • The Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) • Public Sector (Borrower) • Procurement Agency (PA) • Consultants • Professionals • Other Experts • The Public • Civil Society • The General Public 5/11/2007

  13. Roleplayers: The Multilateral Development Banks ~ 1 • Setting Procurement Principles and Priorities • Fostering the Knowledge Economy: Consultants • Constraining Corruption, Fostering Integrity and Building Trust • Setting Ethical Standards • Setting Ethical Performance Expectations • Strengthening Ethical Roleplayers • Monitoring 5/11/2007

  14. Roleplayers: The Multilateral Development Banks ~ 2 • Institutional Strengthening Considerations • Leadership • Public Service Ethos • Consultant Procurement Training and Support • Capacity Building • Improving Consulting Services and Performance • Improving PA Services and Performance • Empowering Oversight Role of Civil Society 5/11/2007

  15. Roleplayers:The Public Procurement Agencies (Borrowers) ~ 1 • Policy ~ The Conducive Procurement Environment • Leadership Vision • Borrower Priorities to Strengthen Consulting Industry • Borrower Policy Implementation • Borrower Monitoring of Performance and Results • Regulatory Factors: Compliance & Aspirational • Capacity to Define and Describe Technical Requirements • Coping with Increasing Procurement Complexity 5/11/2007

  16. Roleplayers:The Public Procurement Agencies (Borrowers) ~ 2 • Legitimacy of the Procurement Process • Procurement Fairness, Accountability and Transparency • Efficiency and Responsiveness • Value and Quality 5/11/2007

  17. Roleplayers: Professionals ~ 1 • Public Service Procurement Orientation • An attractive and fair market? • Expectations of partnership and trust with client? • Proposal costs versus anticipated returns? • Competitiveness • Transparent Parameters to Balance Quality and Cost • Making the evaluation formula work • Reassurance of professional liability • Recognizing and rewarding integrity and ethical values 5/11/2007

  18. Roleplayers: Professionals ~ 2 • Professionalism • Mutual Accountability to Standards of: • Competence • Ethics • Innovation and Quality • Fair Competition • Capacity Building • Professional Training • Continuing Professional Development • Annual “In Good Standing” Certification 5/11/2007

  19. Roleplayers: Professionals ~ 3 • Institutional Identity & Oversight • Professional Associations • Professional Registration Boards • Advocacy on Public Interest Issues • Fostering a positive public image for the professions • Solidarity and internal support systems (legal, financial) to support whistleblowers and other champions of integrity • Strengthening standards of competence • Advocating for fair pay and conditions • Sanctioning ethical misconduct • Celebrating and recognizing exemplary ethical conduct 5/11/2007

  20. Roleplayers: Other Expert Consultants • Growing category as complexity intensifies • e.g. Economists, Computer/IT specialists, Management Consultants, Environmentalists • Institutionally dispersed • Lacking institutional cohesiveness • Weak solidarity or shared identity • Few formal associations • Few regulatory constraints • No formal registration requirements • No preferential (monopoly) status in the market • Not “ethical communities” • No codes of ethics or formally articulated shared values 5/11/2007

  21. Current Status: General Guidance and Recommendations ~ 1 • Identify practical ways to foster a rational basis of trust and partnership between consultants and PAs • Both parties must earn trust of the other • Avoiding stereotypes: parasitical, greedy consultants! • Create linkage: aspirational factors + compliance based approaches = improved performance 5/11/2007

  22. Current Status: General Guidance and Recommendations ~ 2 • Pursue “big picture” procurement reform driven by political will and ethical leadership • Improve evaluation committees • Professionalize public procurement of consultants 5/11/2007