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New procurement law could make sub-€5m orders tender-free
7 Mar 2013 Flash News
In its amendment to the Public Procurement Act, the ruling Smer party wants to introduce a change allowing ministries and offices to award orders of up to €5 million without a tender process, the Sme daily wrote in its Thursday, March 7, issue. The Finance Ministry would have to approve such purchases, and would do so in cases when a tender would “not be economical”.
Lawyer Vladimír Kordoš of the law office bnt says that such a change might lead to misuse. He says that the fewer exceptions the new law allows, the more transparent procurement will be. Though Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák made concessions to critics of his original proposal to amend the law via an extensive amending proposal, some controversial points still remain.
Gabriel Šípoš, the head of Transparency International Slovensko (TIS), a political ethics watchdog, said that despite the amending proposal, electronic auctions would be weakened. He said that TIS expects that the use of this type of auction will drop, which will lead to lower savings in procurement. According to the new rules, the duty to procure electronically would be related only to procurement of goods that are commonly available on the market. Originally, the vision was that a “strategic order” rule allowing tenders to be avoided would be used only in special cases for important government projects. After criticism, Kaliňák, the minister responsible for preparing the amendment, scrapped the idea of strategic orders.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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