Skopje, 25th October 2011 (MIA) – EU funds in the amount of one million euros will be used in the coming 16 months to strengthen the capacities of the Public Procurement Bureau within the Ministry of Finance. Best European practices in the field of public procurement will be shared by the German Federal Ministry of Economy and technology.
This is envisaged in the Twinning Project “Support to the Public Procurement System”, which implementation started today, and it is aimed at providing effective public procurement by promoting efficient use of state budget funds when delivering quality public services to the citizens, with high level of transparency and accountability.
– Priority of the Twinning Project will be further harmonization with the EU acquis and implementation of good practices in public procurement applied by Germany. It will focus on strengthening the review procedure in the contract award procedures.
Achieving the set objectives under this Project will contribute to clearer perception of the role of the Public Procurement Bureau, as well as to maintenance of the confident of the public in the public sector entities, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, said at the opening ceremony of the Twinning Project, held in the EU Info Center in Skopje.
He underlined the need for continuous upgrading of the personnel specialized in public procurement issues, both in the private and the public sector. In the past several years, as he reminded, there has been continuous progress achieved in this field, and number of activities and measures have been implemented, envisaged under the 2010-2012 Strategy on Development of Public Procurement System of Public Procurement Bureau.
– Benefits from e-procurement have been observed, in particular in increasing transparency, competitiveness and efficiency of the procedures. This year, mandatory use of e-auctions was set to minimum of 70% of the total estimated value of all public procurement contracts, and starting 1st January next year, this requirement will be increased to 100%, Stavreski said.
He also pointed out that harmonization of the national public procurement system in the EU Member States and candidate countries is one of the most important instruments for strengthening the internal market and eliminating the barriers to free trade within EU.
EU Delegation to Macedonia Charges d’Affaires Robert Liddell said that by strengthening the controls and the external supervision mechanisms, preference of tenderers, without providing an explanation thereto, will be avoided.
– The Project is to help in resolving the issue cancelling procurement procedures by implementing analysis of the difficulties the economic operators face, as the same time assessing the participation in the public procurement procedures. Action Plan will also be prepared so as to provide assistance in dealing with these issues, Liddell said.
Director of the Public Procurement Bureau, Ms. Mare Bogeva Micovska underlined that the Twinning Project will further enhance international relations of the Bureau, contributing to development of capacities and practices in public procurement in Macedonia.
– Republic of Macedonia is leader in electronic public procurement and e-auctions in the region. Benefits therefrom are large, as from increasing transparency, competitiveness, cost-effectiveness and efficiency, to saving funds, time and human resources, Bogeva Micovska said.
Although our legislation is assessed of being with excellent quality and is harmonized with the good international practice, she pointed out, there are, however, still activities to be implemented for further harmonization with the EU acquis.
– In the past period, new Directives and regulations on public procurement have been adopted in the EU, that need to be closely analyzed and a plan needs to be prepared as for how to transpose them in our country, which is goal and task of the Twinning Project as well, Bogeva Micovska said, adding that significant progress has been noted in the field of public procurement in the latest Country Progress Report.
The Twinning Project comprises eight components, the first one being greater visibility of the Bureau through public conferences. The second component includes assistance as regards the harmonization of the legal framework regulating public procurement with the EU acquis, the third one refers to assessing the difficulties the economic operators face while participating in public procurement procedures, and the fourth one covers the assistance for the development of national strategy on development of public procurement system. The fifth component refers to the development of operational tools for analysis of the existing model contracts, manuals and rulebooks, the sixth includes development of e-procurement platform, the seventh component covers capacity building with in the Public Procurement Bureau and the eight includes strengthening the professional capacity of the procurement officers at the contracting authorities through their training.