14 February 2018, Skopje – Objective of the new Law on Public Procurement is to strengthen transparency and control over the procurement procedures, at the same time streamlining them and making them easier to apply, Minister of Finance, Dragan Tevdovski, Ph.D., said at the first public debate on the Law, held today at the Chamber of Commerce of Macedonia.

He presented to the business community and the NGOs the mandatory obligation to publish public contracts and other documentation for each individual procurement procedure on the Electronic System for Public Procurement was introduced in the Law. The intention is for the public to have full insight in public procurement documentation.

– In line with the EU law and practice, the new Law provides the possibility for quality to be evaluated, in addition to the price. Thereby, the contracting authority, depending on the subject-matter of procurement, can determine, by itself, whether to apply the lowest price, the life cycle costing or the best price-to-quality ratio as a contract award criterion, Tevdovski said.

The new Law also incorporates the recommendations of both the European Commission and the local experts in terms of e-auctions. In the past, as Tevdovski explained, mandatory e-auctions yielded good results in some cases, however, in other cases, certain procurement procedures led to bid-rigging between the tenderers and increase of prices in the absence of real competition.

– Pursuant to the new Law, e-auctions will remain, however, as an option, consistent with the EU law and practice. Use of negative reference will be narrowed, as per the suggestions by the business community and the detected weaknesses in practice so far. Threshold to apply the Law is increased and the manner of carrying out small-value procurement is clarified. At the same time, obligation to report small-value procurement is introduced, Minister Tevdovski said.

E-marketplace for small-value procurement will also be introduced. It will be in a form of e-catalogue, providing for fast and efficient carrying out of small-value procurement, which is simple by its nature.

Ex-ante control to be performed by the Public Procurement Bureau is also introduced in the Law. Subject to ex-ante control will be larger-value procurements, as well as procurements selected by certain principles and risk assessment stipulated in the Law.

Tevdovski said that public debates like this one will be also organized in Stip and Struga.

According to the 2018 – 2021 Public Financial Management Reform Program, the new Law on Public Procurement is to be adopted by the Parliament by October this year and its implementation is to start from January next year.

 

Also available in: Macedonian

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