Every second Serbian citizen admits that they know almost nothing about public procurement, but more than 80% of them would agree to fewer but better roads were built or fewer but environmentally friendly means of public transport were purchased.
These are some of the results of a survey on public procurement conducted by the IPSOS agency for NALED agency, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The campaign, which began with a public presentation of the research results, was also supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its Public-Private Dialogue project.
By presenting the results of the research, NALED officially opened the Public Procurement Month, which has its own specialized website that cites problems and examines solutions related to public procurement.
Trust in public procurement in Serbia would be higher if transparency and citizen participation in these processes were higher, the research showed. According to the results, one in four bidders do not trust the fairness of public procurement and think that almost a half of bidders do not meet the relevant conditions, so it should come as no surprise that the majority of them have not participated in a single tender in the last three years.
The average number of bids per public tender last year was 2.5. In order to have more bids, it is necessary to create a level-playing field, and boost control and transparency, the survey respondents said. They also said that transparency, better control and the implementation of criteria other than the best price would motivate them to take action.
On the other hand, contractors (contracting authorities) say that they do not use quality criteria because they do not have a model against which they can do so. They consider such contracts risky and stress that they are not sufficiently trained to launch tenders.
According to the results, 73% of the citizens surveyed believe that corruption in public procurement is present to a large extent, i.e. that it is mostly present, 59% of the bidders share this view, while only 9% of the contracting authorities think so and 57% replied with “I don’t know” or have refused to answer.
One of the areas where corruption in public procurement is most prevalent according to citizens infrastructure comes first, while 76% of surveyed contractors refused to answer this question.
This post is also available in: Italiano