Additional Information for Procurement Personnel
Procurement personnel are on the “front line” for detecting many antitrust violations as they are likely to deal with sellers who may be conspiring with each other to rig bids or fix the prices of goods and services they are purchasing. Ensuring that employees are alert to practices and bid characteristics that may be “red flags” of illegal conduct will protect a company or a governmental entity and may detect antitrust violations. Many of these “red flags” are a matter of common sense – the important thing is for employees handling procurements through bids to be wary of possible efforts to manipulate a bid process.
Both public entities and businesses are deprived of the value that competition is intended to provide when a bidding process is manipulated. Submitting “rigged” bids to businesses as well as public entities is illegal under both Missouri and federal antitrust laws. Individuals engaged in these activities, as well as the companies they represent, may be held liable for violations.
Procurement personnel should be encouraged to be suspicious and to report any possible abnormalities or observations that might reflect an effort to rig a bid. There are significant steps that procurement personnel can take to guard against illegal collusion and to avoid being taken advantage of.
- Monitoring All Purchases
- Maintaining Complete Records of all bidding for several years
- Following Pro-Competitive Policies
- Training personnel to spot and report suspicious activity