The New Law on Public Procurement Will Bring Budget Savings

State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Slobodan Ilic at today’s press conference said that the new Law on Public Procurement will enable significant budget savings, contribute to the enchantment of the competition and of private sector, as well as to the creation of supplementary anticorruption mechanisms. “By enacting this law, whose bill has already been sent by the Serbian Government to the Parliament for the adoption on urgent procedure, the state will be able to fulfill one more precondition on Serbia’s EU accession path”, said Slobodan Ilic.

State Secretary Ilic pointed that with this draft law, more than two thirds of the current Law on Public Procurement have been altered. As State Secretary Slobodan Ilic specified, the new law will bring formal changes, but will also cut down the expenses and administrative procedures’ timeframes, it will also improve public procurement procedure and its efficiency, as well as introduce better control, surveillance and bidders’ rights protection.

State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Slobodan Ilic at today’s press conference said that the new Law on Public Procurement will enable significant budget savings, contribute to the enchantment of the competition and of private sector, as well as to the creation of supplementary anticorruption mechanisms. “By enacting this law, whose bill has already been sent by the Serbian Government to the Parliament for the adoption on urgent procedure, the state will be able to fulfill one more precondition on Serbia’s EU accession path”, said Slobodan Ilic.

State Secretary Ilic pointed that with this draft law, more than two thirds of the current Law on Public Procurement have been altered. As State Secretary Slobodan Ilic specified, the new law will bring formal changes, but will also cut down the expenses and administrative procedures’ timeframes, it will also improve public procurement procedure and its efficiency, as well as introduce better control, surveillance and bidders’ rights protection.

According to the new law provisions, the e-announcements gained primacy over hardcopy announcements, and in that way purchasers will have to publish announcements at the Public Procurement Office web portal and in Official Gazette. With the new law provisions, obligation of the purchaser to request opinion of the Public Procurement Office regarding negotiating procedure is being abolished, and there will be no obligation for request of the Public Procurement Office’s approval for restrictive procedure implementation.

“It is stipulated that bidders during tender procedure submit copies, while only the winner will eventually be obliged to submit original documents”, said Ilic. “Negotiating procedure without public call option is being reduced, and it will be possible only in exceptional cases”, added State Secretary.

The new law will enable public procurement procedure to be speedier and more successful, because the purchaser will be able to reach a decision if it receives at least one correct and appropriate offer, instead of two, which is present practice.

State Secretary Slobodan Ilic emphasized that the purchaser will be able to refuse the offer if it possess proofs of bidder’s earlier failures to fulfill its obligations. It is foreseen that opening of the offers be public in all cases, while control system of the negotiating procedures has been improved and harmonized with international standards.

The Law stipulates that the report on approved contracts, instead of once per year, be submitted to the Public Procurement Office quarterly, as well as for preferential protection clausal for domestic bidders to remain at 20 percent.

The Commission for Bidders Right Protection will be independent institution whose membership will be appointed by the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia, while professional criteria for membership in the Commission are being improved.

Improved systematization of the new law will enable reduction in implementation errors, definition of general terms have been improved, and is foreseen that the Ministry of Finance will enact one general regulation book whose purpose will be to regulate public procurements of small value.

With this law the provisions regarding technical specifications and standards in line with current regulations will be aligned, and establishment of public officers for public procurement is stipulated.

State Secretary Slobodan Ilic pointed out that in due time all auxiliary legal provisions will be drafted, while the process is already on the way. In Serbia there are some 12,000 purchasers and some 80,000 bidders, while 250,000 public procurement contracts annually are being signed value of some 2.4 billion Euros.

See Public Procurement Bill (pdf) – Serbian version only