“Transparent public procurement is one of the conditions for the EU to resume its budget support programme payments, worth up to €200 million,” said Andrew Rasbash, head of operations of the EU Delegation speaking at the International Public Procurement Conference at the Chamber of Commerce on October 18. Organised by the EU-funded project, “Harmonisation of Competition and Public Procurement Systems in Ukraine with EU Standards,” in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and other organisations, the event brought together public procurement stakeholders from both the private and public sectors to discuss the efficiency of public procurement reforms, the latest legislative changes, and international practice.
Key public procurement expert Peter Gjortler noted the adoption of the Law on Public Procurement in 2010 as one of the project’s key achievements. “Even though it is definitely not a perfect law in the sense of approximation to EU standards, it is a major step forward,” said Gjortler. His colleague Olexandr Shatkovsky concludes that the new Law helped establish a complaint system, a useful facility for bidders who are taking part in public procurement.
Despite this accomplishment, the Ukrainian Parliament later made changes to the Law on Public Procurement that rendered it non-transparent, leading the EU to place budget support payments under review.
Experts believe that a transparent public procurement system is especially important in ensuring the best value for money. Public procurement rules and standards should also ensure equal treatment of trading partners in cross-border trade. The goal of achieving a free trade agreement with the EU was one of the motivating factors for the advancements made in public procurement.
Julia Trostynska, the deputy head of the Procurement Preparation Department for Building EURO 2012 infrastructure in Lviv, shared the practical benefits of the project’s work on the public procurement web portal. “Over the last year I had to make a lot of purchases for the preparation of the Lviv stadium for the Euro 2012 Football Championship. We were purchasing the goods, works, services, and all our public tender announcements were done online through the ‘Customer’s Cabinet’ facility [of the public procurement web portal].”
This portal has enabled thousands of people to post announcements and make purchases. “Over 20,000 organisations are now registered on the web portal and the overall number of active portal users exceeds 100,000.”
For more information: http://competitionproject.org.ua/en.html