"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be."
Lord Kelvin


Impact Assessments, Public Consultation and Legislation in Hungary 2011-2014


This paper explores important characteristics of the Hungarian legislation from 2011 to 2014 through publicly accessible online administrative data. Our focus is on comparing the 2011-2014 period to former years. The CRCB published its first analysis in 2014, which examined the quality of the Hungarian legislation. Our report for 2015  is not a simple repetition and update. Compared to last year’s report we extended and deepened our analysis in several areas. We not only analyse the read more

Mapping high-level corruption risks in Spanish public procurement

Alejandro Ferrando Gamir


High-level corruption and fraud has had an increased impact on the social and political debate in Spain, especially since the beginning of the financial crisis when several cuts in social spending were made. Greater attention is being paid to where and how the government spends its public resources. This paper explores the extent and forms of political corruption in Spanish public procurement. Its main contribution is the rich analytical discussion of read more

Corruption risks of the nuclear power plant investments: What can we expect in the case of Paks II?

In January 2014 the Hungarian Government announced that it reached an agreement with the government of Russia concerning the construction of two new reactors to replace current capacity at the Paks nuclear power plant. Paks I. is a Soviet-built plant operational since 1983-1987. It is the only nuclear power plant in the country and provides about 40% of Hungarian electricity consumption. With an estimated budget of 3-4 trillion Hungarian forint (9-13 billion euros), the project will be the single largest investment in read more

New ways to measure institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement

Fazekas M. – Tóth I. J.. (2014), New ways to measure institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement. U4 Policy Brief, October 2014 No 9, CMI-U4.

Public procurement, one of the largest areas of public spending worldwide, gives public officials wide discretion. It is therefore unsurprising that it is also one of the government functions most often vulnerable to corruption. While there have been many qualitative accounts of high-level corruption in public contracting, it is only recently that read more

Do Hungarian municipalities abide by the law? Analysis of urban municipalities’ webpages

The report empirically analyses information disclosure practices on 368 municipalities’ webpages in 2013 from the viewpoint of transparency, accountability, and informing citizens. The analysis is based on the laws regulating information disclosure in Hungary. The report measures the degree to which municipalities’ webpages abide by the prescriptions of these laws. The empirical results show that it is the lack of transparency and neglecting legal prescriptions which characterises urban settlements; read more

Print media expenditure of government institutions and state-owned companies in Hungary, 2003-2012

The transparency of government funding of the media is an essential element of the freedom of expression. However, this transparency is weak in the Hungarian media. The Hungarian media relies heavily on government advertisement spending. The public advertising orders can determine the fate of a media company. This dependency can threaten the freedom of the press since the government has the means to influence media content.  This report has been prepared to describe the role of state purchases in read more

Needle in a haystack – The “Educatio error”, problems in connection with it and their solutions

Some of the information published online in the Public Procurement Bulletin (e.g. call for bids, tender results) is inaccurate. In cases when the Public Procurement Board (PPB) is informed about the error, for example by the issuer, a correction notice is published subsequently (e.g. rectification or modification) (regulations related to this are NFM 14/2010 [October 29th], and in NFM 92/2011 [December 30th]). Nevertheless, in some other cases, the original, incorrect announcement is published in read more

Extracting data from public procurement documents 1998-2004

Although the Hungarian Public Procurement Authority has made all the information publicly available online for the public procurement tenders between 1998 and 2004, the data format is inappropriate for statistical analysis. The information is stored in basic HTML files which does not provide any interface for sorting and searching among the data. In this technical paper we describe our data extraction process which we used to turn the HTML based information into database format by extracting read more

Analysis of the procurement documents interconnectivity 2005-2012

The Hungarian Public Procurement Authority does not have such a database on Hungarian public procurements, that contains the documentation of each public procurement tender in a uniform structure: namely the call for tenders, the contract award notices, the contract fulfilment, and contract amendment notices or corrigenda.

The goal of CRBC is to solve this deficiency: we would like to build a uniformly structured database based on the publicly available documents of the Authority that is suitable read more

The Quality of Hungarian Legistlation 1990-2012. Preliminary Results

This short paper describes some basic characteristics of the Hungarian legislation in 1998-2012 through publicly accessible online administrative data. Our focus is to compare the 2010-2012 period to former years. We assume that these characteristics – the number of days elapsed between submitting a bill and the publication of the final law; the type of the person/organisation who submitted the bill; number of modifications that become necessary a short time after the publication of the law – can read more