Public procurement is possibly one of the biggest holes through which the state’s money leaks out all too easily, with all kinds of dubious tenders and overpriced contracts constantly popping up.
It is with this in mind that the government passed a draft bill today, by which it wants to make the rules for public procurement much stricter and more transparent.
The amendment would see the scrapping of the clause on “excessively low price”, which disqualifies tenders where the price differs too much from others, and which is open to abuse and non-transparency. The new rules will also tighten the publication of calls for tenders, to prevent repeats of the famous ‘notice-board’ tender, for example.
Other key aspects of the changes include the use of electronic procurement where technically possible, and the option for the Public Procurement Authority (UVO) to contest and nullify contracts through the courts, which was previously abolished under the previous government of Robert Fico.
A grace period of ten days will be awarded to correct formal shortcomings in tenders instead of automatic disqualification and the specifications of tenders will be subject to examination to prevent crony setting of qualification requirements.
The bill’s original title, “An Act on Enhanced Regulations for Foxes Guarding Henhouses”, was changed in committee.