The main changes to the public procurement law were discussed on July 3, 2018, at IDIS Viitorul, by the representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Public Procurement Agency, the National Anti-Corruption Center, the EBRD, the contracting authorities and the companies involved in the public procurement process. The discussions, with about 60 participants, took place within the project "Cutting edge improvements in the public procurement system in Moldova through inclusiveness, creativity and low-abiding practices” funded by the European Union and co-financed by UK aid from the UK Government of Great Britain.
Among the amendments and completions to the Law no. 131 from July 3, 2015, on public procurement, we can mention:
1. New assigning criteria to be introduced, amounting 4: the lowest price, the lowest cost, the best ratio quality - price, the best value for money
2. The possibility to increase the value of the procurement contract up to 15%
3. The switch to electronic communication between the contracting authority and the economic operators
4. The European Single Procurement Document, which is provided in electronic format, consists of a declaration on the sole responsibility of the economic operator regarding the fulfillment of the qualification and selection criteria.
5. The regulation of procurement contracts assignment procedures in the utility sector, to be applied by entities carrying out relevant activities in the fields of energy, water, transport, and post.
6. The right of the authorities to resort to procurement contracts assignment by lot in order to support the small business.
7. The right of the contracting authority, before initiating the assignment procedure, to conduct market consultations by communicating with independent experts, public authorities or economic operators
8. Sustainable procurement concept development
9. Establishing new types of procurement procedures: procurement for social services and other specific services, a partnership for innovation, the electronic catalog, as a special assignment method.
"The legislative amendments to the public procurement law aim to increase the level of participation of the business environment in public procurement procedures, especially SMEs, strengthening the contracting authorities' capacities in public procurement and outsourcing public procurement services," explained Ms. Viorica Pricop State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance.
Mr. Iuri Cicibaba, Head of Cabinet, Ministry of Finance talked about MTender - a tool for public procurement that "will allow us to save financial and human resources, increase transparency, speed, and procurement competition." Also, Mr. Cicibaba mentioned that the benefits for the participants in the procedure could include the following: they can view and analyze their purchase plans, view current procurement procedures and documentation - free of charge, all economic operators are placed on equal terms, can submit an online offer wherever they are, they can see the price of other bidders during the electronic auction, the winner selection process is transparent and public, they can call on consultancy platforms, obtain and analyze historical purchasing information”.
Representatives of the contracting authorities complained about the lack of public procurement specialists due to low wages in local public administrations, but also on the fact that big companies participate in auctions organized at local level, and smaller ones at the local level cannot participate, as they are not able to compete and deliver large quantities of the requested products.
Mr. Grigore Policinschi, the chairman of Dubasari district, says: "Certification of specialists in the territory is a problem. If there is a competent structure that can assume the responsibility to check and prepare those technical conditions, tender book, then they should do so, because the mayors over the country have to come and provide explanations to the NAC about the public procurement contracts".
An important aspect not covered by the proposed amendments is the transparency of procurement at all stages of the procurement cycle, which limits access to information and monitoring by civil society. A recommendation in this respect is to expressly introduce the provisions on the transparency of the notices of intention, participation and assignment, the procurement dossier, the procurement contract. Moreover, in addition to publishing in the Procurement Bulletin, it is also necessary to publish the information on the contracting authority's website.
In conclusion, the participants at the event said that it is necessary to train specialists in public procurement in specific domains (e.g. construction, public catering, etc.). However, representatives of the Ministry of Finance said that they are currently working on this and hoping that the issue will be resolved as soon as possible.
For further details, please contact the press officer, Victor URSU, at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org or 069017396