(Non)Centralised Procurement in Montenegro: The Beginning of a Long Road

The obligation to consolidate the procurement of ten goods and services was introduced in the Montenegrin public procurement system in January 2018, with the commencement of implementation of the Decree on Centralisation of Public Procurement of Goods and Services. However, centralisation is still not sufficiently established in the Montenegrin public procurement system.

There are numerous problems; there is also room for improvement, particularly in terms of transparent spending on centralised procurement. Planning and reporting on such procurements are largely decentralised, and the multitude of data hinders access to reliable and detailed figures on centralised spending.

The Property Administration, which is responsible for implementation of centralised procurement, compensated for the delays by launching urgent procurement and shortening the tender submission deadlines, contrary to the Law.

Centralised procurement is not planned sufficiently thoroughly and timely, which causes problems in practice and leaves the administration without some of the essential tools for its work and operation. The procurement of some items that are constantly needed poses a particular problem, as they get delayed due to the untimely actions of the Property Administration and the institutions responsible for the remedies to bidders.

This analysis presents the course of the 18-month process of centralisation of public procurement to date and includes recommendations for improvement which stem from the trials and errors experienced in that process.

For the procurement centralisation to bring about key effects of centralisation, such as enhanced administrative efficiency, professionalism and capacities, security and simplicity, as well as savings and better prices for large-scale procurement, the Property Administration and the concerned contracting authorities need to plan such procurement better and enable a single procurement procedure to provide the maximum quantity of the same or similar items for the state administration. It is of particular importance to improve the transparency of this segment of public spending and enable the interested public to monitor the details concerning the spending on centralised procurement.

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