OECD Workshop: Battling Cartels and Bid Rigging in Asia-Pacific
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur played host to the "Workshop on Cartels and Bid Rigging" from October 3rd to 5th, 2023. The event, in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), provided a platform for experts to explore vital aspects of anti-cartel enforcement, with a significant focus on evidence gathering and detection.
Day 1 - Tuesday, October 3rd: Commencement
The workshop opened with welcoming remarks from influential figures in the field, including Mr. Dato' Seri Mohd Hishamuddin Yunus, Chairman of Malaysia's Competition Commission (MyCC). Ms. Alessandra Tonazzi, Senior Competition Expert at the OECD, and Mr. Hotae Kim, Director General of the OECD KPC Competition Programme, set the tone for the event.
Throughout the day, sessions covered proactive and reactive tools for combating cartels and bid rigging. Notably, Mr. Andrew Huang, Trial Attorney from the US Department of Justice, shared expertise on strategies and challenges in this critical area.
Day 2 - Wednesday, October 4th: Unpacking Bid Rigging
The second day was dedicated to addressing bid rigging challenges, guided by the OECD's recommendations and guidelines. Mr. Antonio Capobianco, Deputy Head of Division at the OECD, provided valuable insights.
The experiences of the US Department of Justice and MyCC in battling bid rigging were discussed, with Mr. Andrew Huang and Mr. Iskandar Ismail, CEO of MyCC, sharing their insights. Attendees also delved into the use of screens to detect bid rigging, a crucial aspect of unveiling collusion in procurement processes.
Day 3 - Thursday, October 5th: Delving Deeper
The final day included sessions on planning and conducting dawn raids. Mr. Andrew Huang of the US Department of Justice, along with Mr. James Webb, Special Agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US, and Mr. Mohd Hasbullah Bin Mohd Faudzi from MyCC's Investigation and Enforcement Division, provided valuable insights.
Hypothetical cases and real-world examples from competition authorities across the globe showcased the challenges and strategies in investigating and combating bid rigging.
The workshop offered a vital opportunity for participants to share insights and best practices in anti-cartel enforcement. Bid rigging remains a significant concern in the Asia-Pacific region, impacting procurement processes and market competition. The event emphasized the importance of effective strategies and international collaboration in addressing this issue.
This workshop was a significant step forward in strengthening the collective resolve to combat anti-competitive practices in Asia-Pacific. The lessons learned and experiences shared will continue to shape strategies for anti-cartel enforcement and bid rigging prevention across the region, fostering fair and competitive markets.