Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Public Procurement does not provide jurisdiction for control of implementation of concluded public procurement contracts, does not fulfill the obligations defined in the Action Plan for Chapter 23, does not regulate adequately the important issues in this area, and therefore, requires additional improvements.
Although amendments to the Law on Public Procurement bring some improvements in terms of defining procedures, shortening the deadlines and improving transparency, regulation of important issues was not achieved.
The solution by which the Procurement Officer is a member of the Commission for Opening and Evaluation of Bids is problematic and questionable due to multiple reasons: scope of work; potential bias in decision-making; inability to determine the deputies of particular contracting authorities, nor the decision on submission of the appeal by contracting authority only, or the way of proving compliance with the requirements for participation in the public procurement procedure.
The abolition of authority of the State Commission for the Control of Public Procurement in terms of supervision of public procurement procedures worth more than 500 000 EUR, as well as strengthening the competences of the Administration for Inspection Affairs require for strengthening the capacities of the Administration to be taken as a priority. However, regardless of the extension of jurisdiction of the Administration for Inspection Affairs, the current arrangement does not establish the authority for oversight of implementation of concluded public procurement contracts, which is the main problem in the area of public procurement as suggested by the European Commission. Therefore, the improvement of oversight of the implementation of concluded public procurement contracts is one of the criteria for making progress in the negotiation process within Chapter 23. For this reason, the aforementioned recommendation needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
To an extended list of responsibilities for contracting authorities should be added penal liability for those who do not submit their reports on public procurement in continuity, those who do not submit reports on violations of anti-corruption rules, or those who submit incorrect or incomplete data.