The draft Law on Public Procurement should be reviewed before a proposal gets on the agenda of the Parliament. Some provisions of the draft Law require further attention and improvement.
The Draft Law provides obligatory revision of the contracts worth over €1,000,000 by the State Commission, although an earlier version of the Draft had set a threshold at €500,000. We believe that an obligatory revision for contract value of over €500,000 represents a better solution. Transparency is improved by the provision which prescribes obligation of publishing changes and amendments on plans, calls for tender, decisions on the allocation of contracts, public procurements contracts on Public Procurement Directorate’s website. The level of transparency should be improved by publishing reports on the implementation of individual agreements, statistics on the number of canceled agreements, statistics on the number and reasons of giving prior approval for implementation of negotiation procedure in public procurement.
The Law should explicitly prescribe the reasons for giving prior approval for the implementation of the negotiated procedure, because this procedure is the least transparent.
We believe that it is necessary to specify all the persons through whom the bidder can make an influence on the public procurement procedures. The Law should specify the person who makes the decision as the person to whom anti-corruption rules and rules on conflict of interest are applied.
The public procurement officer should be appointed by an open competition procedure, because this is a specific position, with special authorities within the organs/institutions. The competencies of the Commission for opening and evaluation bids should be higher in deciding on allocation of the public procurement contracts. The Commission should make a draft of the final decision and not just a proposal
Technical elements, documentations, conditions for participations in the proceeding have not been simplified. Compared to the earlier version, the deadlines are extended only in part related to the urgency procedure from 15 to 20 days from the day of publication of the tender. In this regard, we believe that the deadlines should be further reviewed. Also the conditions for participation in the procedures should be simplified.
Finally, the provision which prescribes that the State Commission is appointed by the Government on the basis of a public announcement is not a good solution for the appointment of this body. We believe that the State Commission should be appointed by the Parliament. Accordingly, the Commission should submit regular annual report to the Parliament. Also, the members of State Commission should have specific experience related to public procurements. Their functions should be fully professionalized, and therefore it is necessary to clarify that the members of the State Commission should not perform any other public or professional function.
Milica Popović, M. Sc