Public Procurement Directorate neither does not keep track nor publishes information about the exact number of the annexes concluded annually, neither does keep track about the total amount of completed modifications of basic public procurement contracts, which creates the space for the misuse and limits the transparency.
In a response to a request for free access to information of the Institute Alternative, the Public Procurement Directorate has informed us that the number of completed annex during the last three years are available on the Public Procurement website, which is imprecise and incomplete information. By using “the advanced” search on this website, the information obtained is that there is a total of seven annexes concluded in 2014, while searching all data published in the previous year, it can be determined that a total of 28 annexes are available. However even this information which can be obtained after days of searching on the website is not final nor precise, because it is impossible to determine is this the final number of annexes concluded in 2014 or that number is bigger, since the Public Procurement Directorate does not publish how many annexes are concluded in the Annual Report on Public Procurement.
Furthermore, it is interesting that the certain contracts or annexes on the website are not published regularly, but without their basic elements, as a plain document, without the date, stamp or signature of the parties which concluded a contract. In practice, this means that it is possible that the total number of concluded annexes is much higher which implies that the legal norm on the percentage by which is allowed to modify the terms and amounts of the underlying contract is being violated.
Moreover, during the research we conducted during this year in January, the public procurement officers could not precisely answer to the question we posed, which was whether the annexes of the contracts are being published at all, as well as the question who keeps record about the violation already confirmed in the public procurement procedures. Their responses were contradictory.
Changes of the basic contracts create enormous space for the corruption and as such, they have to be controlled and approved by the Public Procurement Directorate, so it is necessary to inform the public about the details of the concluded annexes by publishing them.
The research is conducted within the project “Civil Society and Citizens against Corruption in Public Procurement”, which is implemented by the Institute Alternative with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. The activities aim at strengthening the cooperation between state and non-state actors in the joint efforts in identifying irregularities in public procurement and formulating the recommendations for improvement.