The government plans to apply new rules to the public procurement process with the intention of increasing efficiency and transparency, with one of the key points being to disqualify the lowest and highest bids from tenders.
The plan had been touched on earlier, but was confirmed yesterday by Prime Minister Robert Fico, who feels that selecting the lowest bid might not always be the best and that the system can still be abused by construction companies, for example.
Public authorities often have a problem with procurement, being forced to accept the lowest bid, which can often lead to inferior quality. Head of the Association of Towns and Villages, Jozef Dvonco, feels the same, saying that because companies often use the cheapest building materials, there are problems with maintenance or they soon have to be replaced and so the final cost of procurement is often higher.
The idea therefore has a lot of potential because it touches on other provided services, like translations, where national and local authorities have to pick the cheapest offer with the end result being badly written texts promoting the country with incorrect terminology and no proofreading, even though millions are spent on the actual printing.
So maybe the government has it right on this one, as cheapest is not always best, or to use a Slovak proverb “We are not so rich as to be able to afford cheap things”.