Bid rigging (or collusive tendering) occurs when businesses, that would otherwise be expected to compete, secretly conspire to raise prices or lower the quality of goods or services for purchasers who wish to acquire products or services through a bidding process. Public and private organizations often rely upon a competitive bidding process to achieve better value for money. Low prices and/or better products are desirable because they result in resources either being saved or freed up for use on other goods and services. The competitive process can achieve lower prices or better quality and innovation only when companies genuinely compete (i.e., set their terms and conditions honestly and independently). Bid rigging can be particularly harmful if it affects public procurement. Such conspiracies take resources from purchasers and taxpayers, diminish public confidence in the competitive process, and undermine the benefits of a competitive marketplace.
Recommendation of the OECD Council on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement