Representatives of Institute Alternative (IA) held a meeting today with Assistant Director of Public Procurement Administration (PPA) Mara Bogavac. The meeting was held at the initiative of PPA, regarding our findings from numerous publications, especially out last year’s report Public Procurement in Montenegro: Corruption Within the Law. The aim of the meeting is to improve Annual report on public procurement in 2015, which PPA should publish until 31 May this year.
IA representatives pointed to mistakes in reporting in annual report, but also in individual reports of contracting authorities, identified through several years of monitoring this area, and presented set of recommendations for improvement. Once again they reminded of a need for submitting individual reports on public procurement in machine readable form, which would enable automatic processing and grouping of data. Also, IA proposes changes of content of forms for annual reporting on conducted public procurement of contracted authorities, which, among amounts and lists of conducted procurement, would also include the following:
- Information on concluded annexes and explanation for changing conditions of the original contract;
- Amount of planed and spent budget for public procurement;
- Number of adopted amendments on public procurement plan;
- Reasons for amending the public procurement plan;
- Information on extending the deadline for submitting offers for each procurement;
- Reasons for extending the deadline for submitting offers for each procurement;
- Information on changing tender documentation.
Regarding existing content, the Annual Report on Public Procurement should also contain following information:
- Number of annexes concluded annually, for which the PPA gave its consent, contracting authorities and amounts of concluded amendments of the original contract; clarify the number of negotiated procedures without prior publication of a public tender which refers to amendments to the original contract (Article 25 of the Public Procurement Law);
- Total number and list of all contracting authorities that failed to submit annual report on public procurement within legally prescribed deadline – until the end of February;
- Total number and list of all contracting authorities that violated allowed percentage of use of direct agreement;
- List of all contracting authorities which did not correctly presented data on conducted procurement;
Accordingly, prescribe misdemeanor liability for contracting authorities which submit incorrect data. To contracting authorities which do not properly present data, PPA shall send them a notice, explanation and instruction how to eliminate deficiencies in next reports on public procurement.
- List of all contracting authorities that are not submitting reports on public procurement continuously;
- Total number of contracting authorities with discrepancies in the amounts of planned and spent budget;
- Total number of contracting authorities which amended public procurement plans and contracting authorities with the most amendments;
- Data on misdemeanor liability for violations of the Law noted in PPA’s reports;
- Total number of tenders when only one bid is submitted, list of contracting authorities and subject of the contract;
- Total number of tenders with more than one bid submitted, but all than one were excluded as irregular;
It is necessary to adopt a unique way of naming documents which refer to public procurement procedures.
Before presenting each group of data from the individual reports of contracting authorities, PPA should provide a brief explanation for contracting authorities and interested parties, for example:
- Spent budget is a sum of all concluded public procurement during one year, i.e. sum of amounts presented in forms A, B and C;
- Percentage of use of direct agreement should be calculated based on total spent budget for public procurement in (…) year.
Descriptive part of the report should also contain:
- Information on capacities of contracting authorities for conducting public procurement procedures (detailed review of number of contracting authorities which have a special office for PP, number of public procurement officers and similar information);
- Number of public procurement officers who have not yet passed professional exam;
- Besides specific information on public procurement in health sector, which is the obligation from the Action Plan for Chapter 23, but any such report have not been published yet, the report should contain specific information on public procurement conducted in education sector and public works, as particularly sensitive areas;
- Information on the progress in setting up electronic public procurement system;
- Information on what have been done in accordance with the last year Government’s conclusions;
- Problems in Public Procurement Portal functioning;
- Key challenges for the implementation of public procurement grouped in one chapter.
Additionally, in order to make the report more readable, it is necessary to exclude tables of activities from strategic documents, and to only publish main trends, problems and recommendations, as well as a link to the strategic document or action plan.