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Belarus Needs a Law Regulating the Rules of Public Procurement
17 May 2017
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This law is necessary to increase the transparency of public procurement from single source and to improve the efficiency of using budgetary funds.

There was a presentation of the research on "Public procurement from a single source in the Republic of Belarus: analysis and recommendations" in Minsk, which was prepared by the Belarusian Institute for Public Administration Reform and Transformation (BIPART).

In this work the experts briefly described the situation in the field of public procurement, outlined the problems and ways to solve them.

According to the authors of the research, in Belarus, the share of procurement contracts from single source is more than 90% of the total number of public procurement contracts, and the value of such contracts is about 47% in 2015 (against 67.64% according to statistics for 2014).

If we take into account the data on the share of state procurement in the country's GDP (about 10 billion rubles), provided by the representatives of the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade (MART), the share of procurement contracts from single source is about 4.7 billion rubles, which is more than 2.35 billion dollars .

The lack of access to data on the procurement procedure from single source in the part of its conduct means that it is impossible to control the effective use of these considerable budgetary funds for the interested society, and above all for the business organizations whose rights may be infringed by such a procedure.

Experts are convinced that the detection of potential violations and corruption is possible only in terms of access and publicity of data, when participants in public procurement procedures, interested business community, can control (in their turn) compliance with the law and appeal against illegal actions of individual contacting entities, organizers and other participants in public procurement.

Such opportunities for broad monitoring and appeal of violations can appear only in terms of complete access to data on the conduct and results of procedures, as well as in terms of legal regulation of the adequate responsibility of the participants in procurement.

In the opinion of the researchers, the main problems in the procurement practice from single source are the number of normative legal acts and the problem of their consistency among themselves, the difficulty in presenting the provisions of these documents for their correct and unambiguous reading, the absence of legal regulation of the responsibility of the customer of public procurement and a number of other complexities .

According to BIPART experts, it is possible to solve these problems if the responsible regulator of public procurement (MART) establishes a law, as the only state policy on public procurements (including the procurement procedure from single source), as a state strategy and the interconnectedness of regulatory and legal acts for the operational management of the provisions of the law by all participants in public procurement.

It is also necessary to agree on the level of violation and responsibility for violations in the use of public funds, including the creation of an equal level of responsibility for budgetary and commercial entities.

The authors of the research are also convinced that it is necessary to resolve the issue of publicity and transparency of procurement procedures from single source (not representing state secrets), as well as issues of appealing the procurement procedures from single source.

In addition, it is necessary to make changes in the statistical reporting on public procurement, making the maximum possible transparency of data on participants in public procurement and the full amount of expenses for public procurement for certain types of competitions and procedures, including the expenditure for failed tenders.

Also, in the opinion of the authors of the research, it is necessary to resolve a number of other problems that hamper the bidders to conduct a competitive business honestly, correctly, without unnecessary complications.