HSE University Anti-Corruption Portal
Datacros: a Tool for Assessing Corruption Risks

The EU-funded project on the development of Datacros*, a tool for assessing the factors of corruption risks in the structure of corporate property, has entered a final stage.

The objective of this project is to assist in the detection and prevention of corruption primarily in such high-risk sectors as construction, healthcare, energy and procurement through the detection of anomalies in the corporate property and structure, including:

  • Ownership links among companies in a given set (for example, bidders in a public procurement);
  • Geographic concentration of companies in a given set;
  • Links between companies and politically exposed persons;
  • Links between companies and blacklisted countries;
  • Complex corporate structures, including the presence of offshore companies.

The user interface of the Datacros website will be divided into two areas:

  1. Public area, accessible to everyone for civil oversight. It will contain aggregate statistics, maps and infographics on characteristics of public procurements and business across Europe, with detail on geographic areas and economic sector;
  2. Restricted area only accessible by selected authorized users. It will provide a set of risk scores and visualizations at company and procurement level, for investigation and due diligence purposes.

The employment of the Datacros tool will make it possible to assess corruption risks for businesses, enhancing their transparency and providing both public authorities and civil society (for instance, NGOs and investigative journalists) with an opportunity to improve their control over the sectors prone to high corruption risks, as well as to improve the quality of investigations into and criminal prosecution of corruption and money laundering cases, especially in cross-border investigations, based on these findings.

Besides that, the website of the project can constitute a platform for the exchange of information and encourage interaction between different bodies.

Therefore, beneficiaries of the tool are numerous:

  • law enforcement and judicial authorities;
  • national and local public bodies (for example, anti-corruption and tax agencies);
  • national and EU oversight bodies;
  • civil society.

The Datacros project is now in the implementation phase and has already been tested by representatives of some law enforcement and anti-corruption bodies, in particular, the French Anti-Corruption Agency (Agence Française Anticorruption, AFA) and civil society. Based on the feedback, the tool will be finalised and ultimately tested. The outcome of the project will be subsequently reported to the European Commission. The development of the tool is planned to be completed by March 2021.

*Datacros is carried out by an international consortium, coordinated by Transcrime - Catholic University of Milan (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) in partnership with AFA, National Police Corps of Spain (Cuerpo Nacional de Policía) and Investigative Reporting Project (Italy).

Corruption in public procurement
Civil society
International cooperation

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