POLICY PAPER: Best Practices in preventing corruption in the Public Procurement Sector
Author: Adrian Ermurachi
Public procurement represents an essential pillar in the process of service delivery by government to citizens. Taking into account the volume of activity and of the contract representing the results of public procurement, correct implementation of the latter plays a primary role in promoting an efficient activity at public sector level, as well as at the level of citizens’ trust in Government. A well-organized public procurement process has a direct contribution to accomplishing the objectives of the country, such as improving road infrastructure, increasing energy efficiency, increasing the number of jobs, developing businesses, etc.
According to statistics, in 2016, contracting authorities carried out pubic procurement procedures in total value of 7.52 billion MDL, i.e. by 1.06 billion MDL more than during 2015. The risk of corruption at such a large volume is high. Therefore, fighting this phenomenon is to become a top priority task for public authorities and law enforcement bodies.
At legislative level, the public procurement system in the Republic of Moldova, including the legal framework for preventing corruption in public procurement area, reflects several good international practices, particularly after the approval of the new Law on Public Procurement.
However, isolated combatting of corruption in the public procurement sector without an integral approach to procurement system, public administration system, and fighting corruption procedure will have minimum effects. Corruption in public procurement area is part of the general corruption phenomenon in the Republic of Moldova, which covers practically all the sectors, both horizontally, and vertically.
This document provides a number of analyses and recommendations that could help improve the procurement system in the Republic of Moldova, such as:
- to insure a full functionality of the National Agency for Settling Contestations and cross-sector involvement of all institutions directly or indirectly contributing to toleration and promotion of corruption in public procurement area;
- to insure application of the legislation on public procurement by both public authorities, and private entities where the state is a major shareholder;
- to adopt a Code of Conduct in public procurement area and introduce the practice of sighing integrity pacts;
- to mandatorily include subcontractors in the bid and transfer payments directly to subcontractors;
- to reduce the number of documents required for applying to a procurement process by substituting them with documents provided at own risk (statements at own responsibility);
- to evaluate the management and the performance of employees involved in the public procurement process, including based on quality; etc.