Press release: Draft Law on Public Procurement: Now they have it, now they don’t

Public Procurement Administration claims that there is no Draft Law on Public Procurement, only its working version, although the Report on Implementation of the Programme of the Reform of Public Finance Management 2016-2020 states that «the Draft Law is prepared and submitted to relevant institutions for further harmonisation».

After we read in the Report on Implementation of the Programme of the Reform of Public Finance Management 2016-2020 for 2016 that the Draft Law on Public Procurement was prepared and submitted to relevant institutions for further harmonisation, we requested this document from the Public Procurement Administration (PPA) through free access to information.

However, today we received the answer from the PPA that they are not in the possession of the requested document in form of the draft law, but only «its working version, due to the fact that they are still working on the draft».

And that is stated from the Public Procurement Administration – institution competent for development, monitoring and evaluation of the public policy in this area and directly involved in the process of preparation of the Public Procurement Law, whose adoption was envisaged for the first quarter of this year.

Beside the fact that implementation of this activity is obviously delayed, such contradictory information bring into question the veracity both of the official Government report and statements of the PPA, which raises the question how seriously the Government is dedicated to the preparation of this important legal act that must be harmonised with the EU directives regulating public procurement area.

Keeping the document away from the public sight and the refusal to include wider expert public in its preparation in timely manner, does not inspire confidence that the competent institutions are ready to seriously address the fulfilment of this obligations arising from the EU accession process.

The same request that we addressed the Public Procurement Administration with, was also sent to the Ministry of Finance, the formal proposer of the Law on Public Procurement, on 21 March, but we still have not received a response although the legal deadline for acting upon the request expired yesterday.

We call upon the Public Procurement Administration and the Ministry of Finance to inform the public on the progress made in preparing the Public Procurement Law and to once and for all put an end to the practice of hiding such important documents from public.

Ana Đurnić
Public Policy Researcher

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