“New public procurement law to save up to EUR 700mn”

A draft law on public procurement, made by the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), envisages an annual saving between EUR 500mn and EUR 700mn.

Source: Beta

The draft law also envisages a partial decentralization of public procurement.

“The law, which is economical and anti-corruption, according to calculations can save from EUR 500mn to EUR 700mn in the first year,” SNS Economic Council President Milenko Dželetović said at the first public debate held in Belgrade on Thursday.

He added that the bill would give a wider authority to the State Audit Institution (DRI), Anti-Corruption Agency and the Public Procurement Office in their preemptive actions.

According to Dželetović, the new law will represent a “strong argument in the hands of the holders of economic and political powers in combat against corruption and prevention of conflict of interests and it will also contribute to consolidation of the public finances”.

“Serbia has justifiably stirred up a big media story about Agrobanka and I responsibly claim that there are at least two or three Agrobankas, meaning financial holes it created,” he added.

Dželetović pointed out that the bill would prevent criminal acts in the field of public procurement and at the same time send a signal to the EU, international financial institutions and foreign banks that “we are a serious country that will bring order into public procurement”.

Coordinator of the team for the making of the draft law on public procurement Bojan Terzić explained that a partial decentralization of public procurement referred to procurement of so-called standard goods and services, adding that it would allow savings and introduction of standards that would make maintenance of the bought goods cheaper.

“This means that every ministry will not get to decide which cars it will buy,” he said and added that all state organs and ministries, excluding local self-governments, will be obligated to purchase expendable goods, such as paper and toner cartridges, through the Administration for Joint Services of the Republic Bodies in the beginning.

Terzić said that the system would later be expanded to public companies as well.

He underscored that it had been assessed that about 12 percent of the public procurement would be encompassed by the decentralization, which was about RSD 33mn in 2010.

“Procurements that have so far been done outside the law will be led into the legal framework, primarily procurements financed from foreign loans,” he said and added that public procurement in purchase and rent of real-estate would also be introduced.

According to him, the draft law will for the first time envisage protection of so-called whistleblowers and a statute of limitations in misdemeanor cases has been extended to three years.

The SNS has called on all interested parties to send their proposals for the change of certain regulations in the next seven to ten days to informativna-sluzba@sns.org.rs.

The draft law on public procurement, which the SNS completed in February and which contains 11 chapters, i.e. 184 articles, has been submitted to the Serbian parliament.

The Progressives expect that it could be discussed in late September.


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