Red Flag: Long Delays in Contract Negotiations or Award

Long, unexplained delays between the submission of bids and the recommendation of a contract award or the signing of a contract can be the result of corrupt activity by project officials and bidders.  For example: Project officials might find it difficult to justify the award of a contract to a favored bidder under the procurement rules […]

Red Flag: Multiple Awards Just Under Procurement Thresholds

Multiple contract awards to the same company that are clustered just below a procurement threshold (for example, multiple sole source contract awards to one company for $49,000, when the limit for sole source awards is $50,000), is a strong indicator of possible corruption. Be particularly alert for such awards that appear to be the result […]

Red Flag: Winning Bid Very Close to Budget or Cost Estimates

A winning bid that is too close to confidential project cost estimates or budgets can indicate the leaking of bid information or an unbalanced bidding scheme.  Both schemes are usually the result of corruption, as project officials provide such information to a favored bidder to enable it to win. This red flag can indicate the following schemes: Leaking […]

Red Flag: Pressure to Select a Certain Contractor or Subcontractor

Project officials can pressure bid evaluation committee members to recommend a contract award to a contractor in which they have a hidden interest or from which they expect to receive a kickback.  For the same reasons, corrupt officials can pressure a contractor to select a certain subcontractor or agent that can serve as a conduit […]

Red Flag: Poorly Supported Disqualifications

Project officials can disqualify bidders at the prequalification or bidding stages for superficial or arbitrary reasons in order to facilitate the selection of a favored bidder.  Such efforts are a strong indicator of corruption. This red flag can indicate the following schemes: Excluding Qualified Bidders Corruption Click on the schemes listed above to see more […]

Red Flag: Award to Other Than Lowest Qualified Bidder

Project officials can manipulate bid evaluations in order to award a contract to other than the lowest qualified bidder.  This can be accomplished by,  among many other methods, disqualifying the legitimate low bidder for contrived or trivial reasons, making deliberate errors in the bid scoring or removing required supporting documents from a winning bid.  Such misconduct is usually the […]

Red Flag: Non-Transparent Bid Opening Procedures

Non transparent bid opening procedures can include: Non-public bid opening; Not all bids are opened at the same time; Prices and required components are not read out or confirmed at bid opening; Improper acceptance of a late bid or late discounts; Changes to bids after other bid prices are known; Intimidation of bidders to prevent […]

Red Flag: Questionable Agents, Consultants or Subcontractors

Contractors and consulting firms often employ local agents, consultants or subcontractors as conduits for bribe payments.  Be alert for agents and subcontractors who: Are recommended or insisted upon by project or government officials; Are related to or are colleagues of current or former government or project officials; Have no pertinent experience or qualifications; Charge excessive fees, usually […]

Red Flag: Unreasonably Low Line Item Bids

An unreasonably low line item bid can indicate an unbalanced bidding scheme, probably as the result of corruption. In an unbalanced bidding scheme, project officials leak inside information to a favored bidder that is withheld from other bidders; for example, that certain line items in the request for bids will not be called for after […]

Red Flag: Unreasonably High Line Item Bids

Unreasonably high line item bids can indicate a collusive bidding scheme because the colluding bidders deliberately inflate their bid prices, particularly the designated losing bidders. In civil works or large construction contracts, this can be accomplished most easily by inflating unit prices on line items with a large number of individually-priced units, such as the […]