Since July 1 last year, when the new law came into force, 9,655 public calls for submission of bids have been published on the Public Procurement web portal and almost 11,000 procurement procedures have been initiated. 11,400 contracts were concluded, while 3,420 procedures were suspended, reveals NALED.
For 70% of the suspensions, the reason is that no bid was received, which speaks of insufficient interest of businesses in public procurements, largely due to the low level of confidence of bidders in the system, but also the lack of knowledge.
Developed European countries, according to NALED, have a high share of public procurement in their GDPs. For instance, Switzerland has 25%, Netherlands 20%, Sweden 16.5%, while in Serbia this share is just over 8%, which reveals limited opportunities that through procurement the development goals are achieved and the economy is strengthened.
One of the key objectives of the project “Effective public procurement at the service of economic growth” is to strengthen competitiveness, especially of small and medium-sized enterprises, through the development and implementation of fair, efficient and transparent procurement.
The value of public procurements in Serbia is growing every year and in 2019, it exceeded 440 billion dinars, but the problem is that the average number of bidders in the last 15 years has dropped from 8.5 to only 2.5 per procurement while, according to the analysis of the Bidders of Serbia Association, in as many as 55% of cases only one bid was submitted.
“Furthermore, 90% of procurements are conducted according to the criterion of the lowest offered price, i.e. the cheapest products and services are purchased, and only 10% by applying the criterion of the most economically favourable offer. According to the Corruption Perception Index, Serbia ranks 94th out of 180 countries in 2020 with 38 points out of 100, which indicates that our country should address the challenge of corruption and irregularities in public procurements in order to restore the trust of businesses. Our goal is to improve these indicators through a project implemented with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), mainly through improving procurement efficiency and greater use of value for money in tenders, reducing the opportunities for corruption and contributing to the recovery of the consequences of the pandemic with more efficient public spending,” says Good Governance director at NALED, Ana Ilić.
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