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Adopting Public Procurement Law and resolving problems of the institutions

The organisation Transparency - Serbia expects the National Assembly to vote for the preposition of a Public Procurement Law which the Government of Serbia adopted last week. We consider that this is the regulation which will remove important dilemmas that occurred in the implementation of the law from 2002 till today and enable efficient protection of public resources from abuses.

Particularly significant is that with the new law a Commission for Protection of Rights will be established as an independent state organ. We consider that its recent status was inconsistent with its performance, that is protecting bidders' and the public's interest from illegal decisions of authority organs and public enterprises. We also assess that mentioned proposition prescribed in an acceptable manner duties of the Public Procurement Office, which will be allowed – through giving certificates to public procurement servants and maintaining of a public procurement portal – to influence a higher quality implementation of law by procurement entities, as well as bidders and the public to give more efficient and cheaper insight into public procurement procedures.

However, although the adoption of this law was a significant step for the fight against corruption and for the way towards the integration into Europe, real progress in this area can be expected only when the Government resolves the problems it has ignored for years. This includes securing appropriate premises for work and conditions that stimulate employment in the Commission for Protection of Rights, the Public Procurement Office, the State Audit Institution, internal audit organs and budget inspection. Mechanisms of misdemeanor responsibility and proclaiming of annulling illegally closed contracts in public procurement need to start functioning.

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