State capture is a process that combines different forms of institutionalised corruption with the aim of securing long-term privileges of certain stakeholders. These state captors interfere in drafting, adopting and enforcing the law at the expense of society and business at large.

SceMaps estimates and monitors state capture at sectoral level by assessing its results and effects through qualitative and quantitative methods, big data analysis and media content alert system. It focuses on business capture, institutional and environmental enablers in four European countries (Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, and Spain).

The three targeted economic sectors include:

  • Wholesale of fuels (solid, liquid and gas). Based on the initially mapping exercise performed, this sector is heavily regulated and dominated by large international corporations.
  • Wholesale of pharmaceutical goods. The sector represents a multinational market, where large corporations – prone to applying strong economic and political influence and illegal lobbying – operate.
  • Construction. The sector is vulnerable to multiple state capture threats, mainly due to the large concentration of public procurement contracts.

SceMaps pioneers a three-dimensional approach for estimation and monitoring of state capture on sectoral level combining:

  • Expert assessments (surveys). Ideally, 60 experts per sector per country will be surveyed about the effectiveness of regulatory and control institutions at national and sectoral level (using the State Capture Assessment Diagnostics (SCAD) methodology). In addition, two institutional surveys per country will examine the effectiveness of institutional anti-corruption policy implementation (based on the MACPI Institutional methodology).
  • Public procurement and business data (big data approach). Companies and contracting entities will be crosschecked with tendering data, such as contract award frequency or number of contracts per government term, to analyse procurement concentration and to detect signs of collusions. The online platform will provide suspicious activity rankings of the individual public procurement buyers and suppliers. It will also include search options and filters by country; industry/sector; companies and institutions; contracts awards frequency; total and average value of contracts, etc. The macro data on the procurement concentration in a country and a sector will also be available for analysis (e.g. showing volume of the procurement market compared to the number of suppliers).
  • Media articles. “Red flagging” articles and media investigations on suspected state capture and corruption cases will provide context and extra information about suspicious companies and contracting entities. The media monitoring will be based on media articles crawling by specialised software, using keywords, which point towards cases of public procurement violations, corruption and state capture by concrete companies.

The analysed public procurement and business data and media articles will focus on the period since 2010.

The results and key findings of all three research methods will be presented in a web-based publicly accessible interactive platform. The search options and filters at the platform will display company (supplier) and institutional (buyer) rankings as per concentration of number and value of contracts, recent procurement activity red flags, media suspicious activity report alert, in addition to specifically identified institutional profiling (performed by MACPI Institutional instrument).