Integrity pacts

Agreements among project owners, bidders/contractors, and CSOs to abstain from illicit practices.


Integrity pacts are agreements between project owners and bidders that they will abstain from bribery, collusion, and other corrupt practices during their bidding and for the duration of the contract once awarded. Integrity pacts can also include a monitoring system typically led by CSOs.1,2 This monitoring can encompass the entire procurement process from preparing the tender to executing the contract.


With the help of integrity pacts, corruption can be detected and eliminated from the procurement and contract management processes. The breach of integrity pacts also triggers sanctions for the contractor such as a loss of contract, financial compensation, and debarment from future tenders.2 These sanctions are a powerful deterrent for corrupt behaviour. Integrity pacts are thus never simply goodwill gestures. Rather, they are tools that enable project owners to reduce the costs and distorting impacts of corruption on public procurement, privatization, or licensing, and to deliver better services to citizens.2 As a side effect, integrity pacts increase trust in water sector organizations and improve the reputation of all participants.2


  • Do you have clear procurement regulations in place, and do they allow for disclosure of information and civil society involvement?
  • Are there CSOs with adequate knowledge of public procurement to act as observers?
  • Do you have adequate communication channels in place to ensure your staff’s awareness of the integrity pact?
  • Do you have control mechanisms in place to ensure your staff’s and the bidders’/contractors’ compliance with integrity pacts?


The distribution of responsibilities between the project owner and the bidder/contractor is individually arranged for each integrity pact, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all recipe. Nevertheless, every integrity pact process should involve the following steps (which need to be planned individually for each pact):

  1. Learn about the integrity pact and issues of corruption in public contracting in the water sector, and read about successful examples.
  2. Plan the integrity pact process (when to start, who to involve, communication, etc.).
  3. Undertake initial activities, such as deciding on implementation arrangements and monitoring arrangements.
  4. Prepare the integrity pact documents and make sure to have appropriate legal support.
  5. Sign the integrity pact (project owner and bidders, etc.).
  6. Monitor the procurement process and take action if the pact is breached.
  7. Once the bidding is closed, ensure that contract execution is in line with the obligations set in the integrity pact.

The whole contracting process needs to be undertaken in a transparent and accountable manner, free from corruption and from delays caused by trouble, confusion, and a lack of transparency.2


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TI, no year, Integrity Pacts, Transparency International (TI), Germany,, accessed 19.11.2015

GIZ, no year, Integrity Pacts, GIZ Anti-Corruption Toolbox, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany,, accessed 19.11.2015


Asís, M. G. De, Leary, D. O., Ljung, P., and Butterworth, J., 2009, Improving Transparency, Integrity, and Accountability in Water Supply and Sanitation, World Bank Institute and Transparency International

Nordmann, D., Peters, P., and Werchota, R., 2013, Good Governance in the Kenyan Water Sector, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany


  1. TI, no year, Integrity Pacts, Transparency International (TI), Germany,, accessed 19.11.2015
  2. WIN, 2010, Integrity Pacts in the Water Sector, Water Integrity Network (WIN), Germany
Last updated 12 April 2019

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