IDIS "Viitorul" has launched the second edition of the "Confidence Index in the Public Procurement System of the Republic of Moldova", elaborated within the framework within the project "Cutting edge improvements in the public procurement system in Moldova through inclusiveness, creativity and law-abiding practices", funded by the European Union and co-financed by UK Aid with the support of the UK Government.
Through the development of the Confidence Index, IDIS Viitorul aims to bring in a complex and systematic way the views of citizens and the business community on the public procurement system. The main reason is to boost a better connection between citizens’ and private sector expectations and decision-making process results conducted by public authorities, at the central and local level.
The study reveals that economic operators associate "public procurement" with procedures explicitly prescribed in legislation, in particular, public auctions, contracts, procurement of goods, services and works by public institutions, and use of public money (59%); complicated procedures or inefficient use of public funds by public authorities, including through illicit collusion and corruption (14%).
However, there were also respondents who associate public procurement with transparent, fair and efficient procedures (27%). Analyzing the evolution of the perception of the effectiveness of the public procurement system in 2019 compared to 2018 (1st edition), there is a positive growth. If in 2018 only 15% of respondents appreciated the efficiency of the system as high and very high, then in 2019, this percentage increased to 27%.
"The results of the assessment of the perception show that the institutions that obtained the lowest ratings are the Competition Council - 47% (low and extremely low), followed by the National Anti-Corruption Center (CNA) - 38% (low and extremely low) Public Procurement Agency (AAP) - 37% (low and extremely low). The highest rated institutions are: ANSC - 42% (high and very high) and the Court of Accounts - 46% (high and very high) “-Viorel Pîrvan one of the authors, revealed.
Among the problems mentioned by the economic operators are: the restrictive stipulations of the tender documentation; the indication of a specific brand or manufacturer; requesting a large number of documents/certificates; emphasis on price to the detriment of quality, discrimination and the restriction of free competition. They also specified the lack of qualified staff working for the authorities; inconsistencies between the primary legal framework and the normative-secondary framework. Other pressing issues are the lack of a permanent dialogue between all actors involved in the process; difficulties in implementing the MTender electronic procurement system; the non-application of penalties for admitted violations, the non-utilization of procurement some procedures regulated by Law 131/2015, etc.
Among the recommendations proposed by the respondents are as follows: reviewing the legal framework and eliminating inconsistencies; real collaboration between all procurement agencies; improving the primary and normative-secondary legal framework in the field of public procurement; strengthening the consultative role of the Public Procurement Agency in all aspects related to the public procurement process; the continuation of the development of electronic purchases, as well as the more rigorous verification of the correctness of the fulfillment of contractual conditions by officials from the public institutions and the control agencies.
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