iMonitor Project. Enhancing law enforcement efficiency by bringing together public procurement data analytics and civil monitors

The Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia participates in the European iMonitor project, a research and innovation project with the aim of establishing structures for citizen monitoring of certain public contracts, previously selected using data analysis tools, coordinated by civic entities that will carry out a fieldwork collecting information and critical evaluation of contracts. The result of this monitoring, when indicating the presence of irregularities or corruption, would be then transferred to the control authorities which at an institutional level and within their mandate and powers, would carry out their corresponding procedures.

This approach required the participation, for each territorial area concerned, of a control authority and a civil entity. Having been invited to participate, the Anti-Fraud Office managed the search for a Catalan civil entity dedicated to the fight against corruption, which has finally been the Professional Association of Political Science and Sociology of Catalonia (COLPIS), as an entity integrated in the Citizen Observatory Against Corruption (O3C).

iMonitor is an innovation research project financed by the EU with ISF program funds (Internal Security Fund, 2021-2027) promoted and led by professor Mihály Fazekas, from the Central European University, scientific director of the think-tank Government Transparency Institute (GTI). The other participants, in addition to the GTI, who acts as project coordinator, are TI Lithuania (Transparency International Lietuvos Skyrius), the Italian NGO Monithon Europe E.T.S., the National Integrity Agency of Romania and the Romanian NGO Societatea Academica din Romania.

The project was presented to the European Commission on the 30/08/2022 and was approved at the end of December, with a particularly positive evaluation. As indicated in the general description of the project presented to the European Commission, due to the lack of monitoring capacity, law enforcement is typically able to investigate a small portion of likely corrupt cases. To remove corruption detection and investigation obstacles the project sets out to combine Big Data analytics with extensive civil monitoring of ongoing contracts in Catalonia, Italy, Lithuania, and Romania. The project is based on prior EU-funded projects which made public procurement data and corruption risk indicators available ( and a citizen reporting tool dedicated to monitoring public spending ( A dedicated reporting standard bringing together quantitative corruption risk indicators and detailed civil monitoring results to produce high-quality will be created and targeted as well as operationally relevant reports for law enforcement and other public authorities. The direct impact of the project is to generate new investigations and other administrative responses to irregularities in contract implementation.

According to the conversations and meetings held in the design phase of the project prior to its presentation to the European authorities, the specific functions or tasks of Anti-Fraud, as a control authority, would be the following:

  • a. collaboration, with an advisory role, in the development of channels and procedures for collecting, processing and structuring public procurement data that would feed Opentender's databases and analytical tools;
  • b. collaboration in the adaptation to the legal framework and to the Catalan regional operational context of the general methodology and of the training materials for both the civic entities and the volunteers dedicated to monitoring; definition of the form and content of the monitoring reports generated, and of the evidence required for any subsequent investigation actions; and
  • c. reception and processing or, as the case may be, transmission to other control authorities of monitoring reports and/or eventual reports of irregularities detected.

During 2023, Anti-Fraud's participation in the project, mainly at the expense of the Data Analysis Team (EAD), has taken shape in the collaboration with GTI in the development of the channels and procedures for collecting, processing and structuring public procurement data (data pipeline), as well as in the design and development of new risk indicators that have been implemented in a new version of the analytical tool Opentender.

iMonitor project with funds from the European Union