Source: Business Magazine
Numerous weaknesses and shortcomings of the public procurement system in BiH have been faced by foreign investors. These irregularities and abuses greatly favor the spread of corruption and make it difficult for the private sector to operate.
“Obstacles for the companies in public procurement procedures are non-application of the principles of competitiveness and non-discrimination, which may result in favoring certain bidders and raising the price paid by the public authority. Qualification criteria, technical specifications and types of procedure, tender documentation is too extensive, as well as its high price, and high fees for initiating an appeal procedure”, told Branimir Muidža, President of the Foreign Investors Council in BiH.
Although certain segments of the public procurement process have been improved in order to increase transparency, Muidža points out that this issue is still open.
“In public procurement, as well as in other areas of public administration, transparency is achieved not only by publishing information, but by consistent application of transparent public procurement procedures so that bidders are familiar with all requirements and criteria on which they will be evaluated, and implementation of contracts. The issue of long and complicated tender procedures can be solved by simplifying the submission of documentation, which would simplify the procedure related to the tender documentation, but also reduce the allocations (costs) that businesses have in obtaining the necessary documents in public procurement,” said Muidža.
Omissions and illegalities
Foreign Investors Council, as one of the representatives of the business sector in BiH, for several years pointed out omissions and illegalities in the public procurement system, which violate the basic principles of fair and active competition, transparency, equal bidding and efficient and responsible public spending.
“We were especially active in the process of passing the Law on Public Procurement from 2014, where our representatives had the opportunity to participate in public debates. We also, together with representatives of commercial departments of foreign embassies in BiH, held a series of meetings with representatives of the BiH Public Procurement Agency to try to find solutions to certain obstacles in practice that companies face, which ultimately resulted in favorable legal solutions in the Law from 2014”, added Muidža.