Government Blesses its New Procurement Act
This week the single-party Smer-SD government pushed through its revision to the Public Procurement Act, but not without a myriad of last minute changes and shouts of criticism from opposition MPs.
The revision gives individual public bodies much more jurisdiction to decide on tenders by themselves, for instance, and opens up the option of direct orders to chosen companies. This system is obviously open to abuse, and Transparency International Slovensko also raised its concerns about the need for the system to be well monitored by the Public Procurement Office.
According to the new rules, public administration bodies will be able to disqualify bids or bidders they deem unsuitable, for example, opening up scope for abuse and cronyism. This should be partly offset at least by the possibility to monitor all public orders and tenders electronically now, but the final word in contested cases will fall to the Public Procurement Office anyway.