World Leading Professor explains how firms can protect against collusion by their suppliers

4 Oct 2016
Professor Leslie Marx
Professor Leslie Marx

Collusion amongst suppliers happens. Here’s three things you can do about it.

Professor Leslie Marx, one of the world’s leading expert economists in the field of collusion, was the keynote speaker at the recent 26th Colin Clark Memorial Lecture that was attended by over 60 industry professionals, government representatives and leading economics academics.

Over 60 industry professionals, government representatives and leading economics academics attended the presentation to hear how customers can defend themselves against being a victim of collusion.

During her presentation, Professor Marx advised that buyers who have concerns about potential collusions among their suppliers can do three things to put themselves in a better position.

“Firms that have concerns about potential collusion among their input suppliers can do a number of things to put themselves in a better position. First, by understanding which of its inputs are more vulnerable to collusion, a firm can focus attention on those. Second, procurement practices can be designed to be less vulnerable to collusion, or at least not to facilitate collusion.  Third, the legal environment that applies to a firm may require certain types of document retention or certifications in order to put the firm in the best possible position for recoveries should the worst occur.”

Dr Marx then went on to discuss in detail the procurement practices and record keeping that can assist firms in these situations.  A full paper of her presentation will be published in the New Year by the Economics Society of Australia.

The Colin Clark Memorial Lecture is held each year to recognise Dr Colin Clark’s outstanding contribution to the field of economics. Dr Colin Clark was a British and Australian Economist and important public servant with the Queensland Government during the 30s and 40s. His work on national income accounting was fundamentally important to the development of macroeconomics and to the approach of John Maynard Keynes. Dr Clark's greatest contribution to economics was his pioneering role in the construction of national accounts.