E-auctions: the path to major savings

The state is finally waking up to the fact that using electronic auctions can fight corruption. Alternatively, it has always been known, but seen as an obstacle to cronyism and tender-fixing.

The new government resolved to make electronic auctions in public procurement the norm, and so some ministries have already started procuring goods and services in this way, with savings already becoming evident. A good example is that of the Ministry of Transport, as it saved around 30% on the costs of security services for the rolling stock of the railways, and as much as 80% on the compilation of financial statements for the railway company.

Transparency International (TI) still sees room for improvement, though, pointing to certain loopholes in the system. It claims there have been cases where e-auctions have been kept ‘quiet’ intentionally, so that nobody knows they are taking place. TI programme director Emilia Sicakova-Beblava said that more improvements are needed in order to fine-tune the whole system.

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