For many companies, getting a handle on public procurement corruption may seem like a daunting task. In many cases, some may try to gain a competitive advantage by paying a bribe or offering payoffs to receive special treatment that will guarantee a contract.

In an effort to help compliance officers and legal experts navigate through the muddy waters of public procurement, a recent Corporate Counsel article highlights four key areas that companies should focus on:

Engage with competitors: While this may seem like something out of the ordinary, integrity pacts provides a solid platform to drive transparent standards across all parties involved in a transaction. Governments play a crucial role in maintaining fair business practices and ensuring that compliance standards are met. In turn, this will establish a level of confidence in the procurement process.

Appeal the decision: Depending on the country, some international procurement systems usually include a formal process that allows the company—on the losing end— to challenge a decision. In Europe, for example, losing bidders retain the right to appeal within 10 days of a decision. 

Speak out: Keeping silent does not help. This point encourages companies to speak out again suspected corruption or report such occurrences anonymously to a local organization or an international group.

Seek alternative legal recourse: Many companies seek out other legal options outside of the procurement process. While this can be costly, formal appeals can be time consuming and lengthy.