Some thirty companies fined for rigging public contracts receive more than 800 million from European Next Generation funds / Una treintena de empresas multadas por amañar contratos públicos reciben más de 800 millones de fondos europeos Next Generation

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Spain

Publishing organisation: [Newtral.es](https://www.newtral.es/)

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 2022-10-03

Language: Spanish

Authors: Alejandro Mata (jounalist) and the Newtral engineering team


I’m Alejandro Mata, a journalist specializing in public affairs research. I strongly believe in the importance of journalism to oversee our governments. We are the only ones who can do it since independence and with the sole purpose of serving society.

Project description:

The recovery funds, in wrong hands?

There are many economic sectors in Spain that have been affected by the cartels of companies that illegally distributed public contracts among them. According the sanction files of the National Markets and Competition Commission, more than 200 companies have been fined for having rigged public contracts and forming cartels with other firms. We crossed referenced them with all the companies that have received money from the European Next Generation funds. This is how we discovered that 30 companies that were fined for tampering public contracts, earned 800 million euros, from recovery funds.

Impact reached:

One of the main opposition parties in Spain took our investigation to the Congress of Deputies, and asked the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, why this was happening. He replied that his team was working on a new law that prevents these situations. The Spanish press published about this fact, as can be seen in this [link](https://www.europapress.es/economia/noticia-ciudadanos-carga-contra-gobierno-adjudicar-mas-800-millones-fondos-europeos-empresas-sancionadas-cnmc-20221005182812.html)

Techniques/technologies used:

We download all public information using scraping techniques. Subsequently, we crossed referenced the data with Excel.

Context about the project:

After the COVID 19 pandemic, the world was subjected to a major crisis that has marked the future of world economies. This is why the European Union created recovery funds with Spain as one of the European countries that had received more than the rest. These funds were conceived to save and improve our society, nevertheless, some companies could take advantage of this situation. And this is why we decided to undertake this investigation

What can other journalists learn from this project?

This type of work serves to demonstrate how important it is to investigate the use made of public money, and how big companies can misuse it.

Project links: