Although certain progress has been made in public procurement procedure in Serbia, its efficiency could be further improved.
Slovenia, for instance, has saved a lot of money when it reduced the number of administration workers involved in public procurement process. Can Serbia do the same, i.e. increase the efficiency and shorten public procurement procedures? The Serbian team that is negotiating with the EU in Serbia’s accession process says that there should be fewer people involved in the public procurement procedures, as well as that more things should be done online.
The aforementioned Slovenia did this by reducing the number of documents involved in public procurements, and conducting them online.
“For instance, when the purchaser of goods or services makes a decision to conduct a public procurement, they post it online (on a specialized web portal), and this is the green light to bidders that they can start sending their bids. Sending documents via regular mail has been abolished and this saved us some time. The purchaser has all the information about the bidders from six different sources. And all of this is just a mouse click away”, says the director of the Slovenian Public Procurement Directorate, Saso Matas.
Also, the unnecessary documents, like a decision to launch a public procurement and the relevant plans, have been abolished. In this way, Slovenia has managed to save over 1.5 million EUR annually from national public procurements.
“Serbia has plenty of reasons to emulate Slovenia because they have been at the forefront regarding many things, including fighting corruption and expediting public procurement procedures”, says Nemanja Nenadic from Transparency Serbia.
Reducing the number of documents required for public procurements and higher transparency and efficiency by using online services are required not only because Serbia wants to join the EU, but also because the state can save a lot of money on it.
“Serbia has done a lot in the last few years regarding this issue. The Public Procurement Directorate has progressed a lot and the public procurement system has been improved thanks to the use of new IT systems. So, some money was saved”, says the head of the Task Force in charge of the negotiations about the Chapter 5, Aleksandar Bratkovic. However, what remains to be done is to pass a new law that would comply with the EU standards in this area.
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