Efficiency, performance and value for money in public procurement

Dec 21, 2015

The purpose of todays conference on public procurement in Serbia was to review recent legislative and regulatory changes in the public procurement field, discuss the importance of “value for money” and other best practice concepts in the public procurement arena, recognize that continued cooperation in strengthening Serbia’s procurement system is of prime importance in the long run, and provide a preview of upcoming events that are designed to improve best practices and tackle fraud in public procurement.

During the conference, special attention was paid to benefits of taking into account “life-cycle costs” as a way of accurately determining the total value of a procurement rather than only the purchasing price.

Discussion recognized that strengthening the regulatory system to make it more efficient, transparent and competitive will not only be good for Serbian consumer of public services but will also be important in preventing corruption.

Finally, the conference emphasized the importance of a team approach in prosecuting procurement fraud. 

UNDP and Public Procurement Office have been partners for over 7 years working on strengthening accountability in public procurement.

Over the last two years UNDP provided extensive support to the implementation of the Strategy for Developing Public Procurement in Serbia for the period 2014 – 2018.

This partnership over the last two years, with Swedish Government support, contributed to achieving the notable impact in public procurement, including:

(1) Introducing more discipline in reporting:

in 2014, reports on public procurement were submitted by 4,933 contracting authorities, whereas over the same period in 2013 their number was 3,264 – the number of contracting authorities submitting reports to the PPO rose for 51% relative to 2013;

(2) Applying the principle of ensuring competition:

The share of non-competitive procedures reached 5%, which is considered “standard” in EU countries. This is a significant reduction relative to 2013, when the share of this procedure was 17%;

(3) Strengthening transparency:

This was achieved primarily by means of preventing the use of non-transparent and non-competitive negotiated procedure without prior notice: the record-high share of open procedure in 2014 reached 85%, substantially more than 66% in 2013.

UNDP will continue to support the Public Procurement Office in addressing challenges for further improvements of public procurement system in Serbia, including:

  • Promotion of “value for money” best practices and “life-cycle costs” concept in public procurement
  • Increasing efficiency and performance of local self-government in public procurement procedures
  • Promotion of green and socially responsible procurement, and upgrading quality standards in public procurement

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