Risks of corruption exist in all phases of the procurement procedure and in all areas; therefore, regardless of certain improvements that were brought with the latest amendments to the law, it is necessary to further strengthen anti-corruption mechanisms, as contracting authorities have said.
Institute Alternative has conducted a research about the attitudes of the contracting authorities, within the project “Civil Society and Citizens against Corruption in Public Procurement” supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The research was conducted based on the questionnaire which was distributed to all public procurement officials on the national and local level as well as the meeting held with them at the end of February.
Most proposals for improvement of the legal framework were related to the need to shorten the duration of the procedure, to the deadlines for the filing of complaints and the time for deciding on appeals. Public procurement official suggested, among other things, that at least half the members of the commission for opening and evaluating tenders should have passed the exam for working in public procurement. There are also proposals on the need for financial incentives for officers as well for the members of the Committee for opening and evaluation of bids because of the amount of the responsibility that this work carries with it.
Public procurement officials interprete differently the negligible number of criminal charges for corruption in public procurement, from the attitudes that it is due disinterest for processing the filed reports or the inability to prove the guilt as well as the fear of the possible consequences of such an act. There are also views that there is no corruption, or that such (non) treatment exists due to the fact that the legal mechanisms prevent the corruption.
All phases of the procurement procedure and all purchases of high value are subjected to corruption, and corruption is more dependent on the susceptibility of the parties, and not of the public procurement field, as officials believe. The areas that are particularly subjected for corruption, officials state the construction, healthcare, defense and security.
Although additional changes to the conditions of the basic contract create enormous scope for corruption and must be controlled and approved by the Public Procurement Office, this is not adequately regulated by the Law, since officials were not able to give us accurate answers to the question of whether the annexes are published or not, nor to question who keep records on misdemeanor liability.