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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

ROSSI, T.; MURILLO FORT, C.  and  PUENTE KAROLYS, J.C.. Transparency in public sector acquisitions: The case of hospitals in the City of Buenos Aires. Gac Sanit [online]. 2002, vol.16, n.1, pp. 94-104. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112002000100013.

This paper deals with corruption and the lack of transparency in public sector purchases as well as with the main instruments to obtain adequate results in purchase negotiation. Firstly, we discuss how corruption causes concern to national governments, international organizations, academic centers, non-governmental organizations and society in general. The consequences of corruption in Argentina and other Latin American countries are highlighted, especially the effect of corruption on economic growth and the way it creates economic inefficiency and inequality. Secondly, the database created by the Subsecretary of Strategic Management of the Autonomous Government of the City of Buenos Aires is analyzed. The central purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of the Administrative Reform of 1998 on the prices of 24 products acquired by 13 general acute care hospitals from 1998-1999. The weighted prices, the number of units purchased and the total number of contracts given in this period, as well as the products with the greatest utilization rate, are analyzed. Multivariante analysis was used to identify hospitals with appropriate activity and efficient budeget administration (activity and negotiation indicators). Price development was analyzed using the regression technique (ordinary least squares), which demonstrated an 8% reduction in prices for the year 1999. The contribution of each hospital to this variation is presented using dummy variables. Thus, six of the 13 hospitals significantly contributed to the decrease in prices. Of these six, three hospitals also contributed to reduction in price dispersion. The results obtained allow us to conclude that, if public hospitals have adequate purchase negotiation instruments and a uniform legal framework, they can achieve a good level of activity. Furthermore, public hospitals can contribute to reductions in price and price dispersion, at the same time as improving efficiency in the assignation and utilization of resources.

Keywords : Administrative corruption; Purchase; Emergency budget; Dummy variable; Multivariable analysis; Non-parametric test; Price dispersion.

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