Corruption in public procurement is all-present but difficult to prove

Shortcomings of the Law on Public Procurement, weak anti-corruption mechanisms, inadequate transparency, violation of legal norms without data on misdemeanor responsibility, and poor law enforcement capacities are key issues that create space for the corruption in public procurement.

This is the conclusion of the consultative meeting held today, which gathered the representatives of the business sector and civil society organizations to talk on the topic Mapping key risks in the area of public procurement, organized by the Institute alternative. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Working group for development of methodology for early detection of acts of corruption in public procurement. The participant agreed that all stages of the process and all procurement of the high value are subjected to the corruption. The special part of the discussion was dedicated to the issues in the implementation of public procurement in the health services.

Participants also pointed out the weak capacities of the Inspection Directorate, the body that controls, according to new legal provisions, both procedures and public procurement contracts. Other institutions competent for this area have poor capacities, while the contract authorities usually employ only one public procurement official.

The lack of transparency is present because the Public procurement portal does not offer reliable information, while the register of the contracting authorities who violate the Law on public procurement is not publicly available. Furthermore, it is possible to monitor the area of public procurement only on annual level, since the Public procurement report is published in the end of May, while the Action plan does not define clear the indicators of the results and impact for the Chapter 23.

As pointed out, the additional problem is the unrealistic planning which can be seen in the big difference between the contracted and realized value of procurement at all enforcers of the law, as well as frequent changes to public procurement plans during one year.

They agreed that it is necessary to continue to work on strengthening the oversight role of Parliament in this area. Although the Assembly last year was intensively engaged in the area of public procurement and organized several hearings as well, their effects are poorly visible in practice.

Jovana MAROVIĆ
Research Coordinator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.