Public procurements or only imitation?

 07.06.2016.

Source: www.mcms.org.rs

 

Poor planning, bid selection based on the lowest price only and the lack of institutional capacity for implementing and control over tenders are part of the findings from the case studies resulted from the monitoring of public procurement in the EU candidates countries, presented today (7th June, 2016) at the conference: “Monitoring of the public procurements: corruption risks, identified from the civil society organizations” organized by the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCMS) and the Center for Civil Communications (CCC).

 

The study has been made by five civil society organizations in Bosna and Hercegovina, in Macedonia, in Montenegro and in Serbia, and due to the data comparison process, the public procurements have been studied for the same products.

The data comparison analysis shows that Macedonia stands the worst in terms of competitiveness, or there are 2.5 bidders per tender in average, which is double less than the previous period when there were in average five bids. However, the total value of the public procurements in the country in 2014 was nearly one billion euros which was 12% from the GDP and 34% from central government budget.

In Macedonia, the planning phase is the weakest”, said German Filkov from CCC, the organization that conducted the study in Macedonia. He added that from 2017 the publication of the annual plans will be mandatory and with this the expectations are that the transparency will increase, as well as the seriousness of the planning. The most non-transparent stage in the process of the public procurement is the realisation of the contracts”, stated German Filkov and added that in this segment too there will be mandatory to publish certain information starting from 2017 under the country’s OGP action plan. He also talked about the purposefulness of the procurements or the lack of analyses of the procurement needs in term of subject of procurement, quantity, quality and prices. 

The representatives from Serbia, Bosna and Hercegovina and Montenegro stated the role of the civil society organizations in the process of monitoring the public procurements which are the only ones that alarm the risks of corruption during the public procurements. They shared examples from their countries and emphasised that the problems are the same in the entire region – so instead of public procurements we face a sort of imitation of the procurements.

In the second panel the panellists kept their point to some of the European best practises for the development of the innovative solutions for a successful identification and monitoring of public procurements with risks from corruption such as the cases from Hungary and Croatia. Macedonian experiences were also presented. Munir Podumljak from the organization Partnership for social development from Croatia, pointed the importance of the open data for monitoring of the public procurements and securing bigger transparency by presenting cases where through the processing of the open data in the public procurements one can come to serious findings of high level corruption.

Agnes Chibik from the Government Transparency Institute from Hungary presented the findings of their studies pointing to the changes of public procurement practises under the influence of changes in the political scene, which shows the influence of the political parties and clientelism in public procurement process. Sabina Fakic from CCC presented the Macedonian experiences and strengthened the importance of the direct monitoring of the public procurements in contrary to the statistical analysis of the open data. She pointed on the huge number of the annulled tenders as an indicator for corruption risks, and noted that there are cases when tenders are cancelled where the favourite companies can’t win.

One of the recommendations of the study is to use the process of EU integration in order to push the countries to do more for the minimum requests.

The research is part of the project “Towards efficiency mechanisms in the public procurements in the country (potential) candidates for EU accession.”

The conference was held with the support of the USAID programme for anticorruption which is implemented by MCMS in partnership with the Institute for democracy Societas Civilis, Skopje (IDSCS), Asosiation for Democratic Initiatives (ADI) and Transparency Macedonia (TM).