We’re collecting a list of hypotheses (or problem statements) to better understand the key priorities for different users around procurement data.

Most of these are designed to be falsifiable statements – but they are not statements of fact or related to any particular country, and shouldn’t be interpreted as such.

Price variation:

  • high price variation across states
  • price variation across agencies for same goods
  • high price variation for goods during emergencies
  • less time for each stage of tender will lead to greater price variation
  • greater price variation for direct contracting
  • clustering of contractors in particular regions
  • purchasing units – tend to buy from their own area/in-state
  • number of contract modifications – contractors tend to low ball in the beginning. High variation between original cost and final payment is signal for increasing risk?

Direct contracting:

  • proportion of direct contracting is higher in reconstruction projects
  • link between who decides what gets on list and who gets the contract
  • value of contracts: smaller values = normally direct award; higher value = more likely tender?
  • direct contracting = higher prices


  • time of each stage of each tender has an impact on value and prices. What time required for each stage to ensure competitiveness? Insider information gets you contract because you can get your bid together more quickly?
  • insufficient time for bidding leads to fewer bidders, less competition

Contract performance:

  • at federal or state level, blacklisted companies are still doing business. Do particular purchasing units keep hiring companies that get sanctioned?
  • contract performance in terms of time of implementation and quality is worse for rehabilitation efforts – variation depending on state and contractor
  • clustering of bidders negatively affects price and may suggest collusion
  • contracts with fewer bidders = higher prices. Pricing affected by number of local vendors – areas (states/municipalities) that have fewer firms pay higher prices.
  • shallow markets = higher prices because you have to go to firms outside the local area or outside the country
  • shallow markets are more likely to have poor performance


  • use of e-procurement for tendering = more bidders (more competition)
  • use of e-procurement for tendering = more/fewer complaints