State tenders take six months on average

AN AVERAGE state tender took six months in 2014, the longest period in the past five years, according to the analysis by ethics watchdog Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) which it based on the Public Procurement Office Bulletin.

(Source: Sme)

TIS concluded that the government’s touted reform of public procurement processes has brought no noteworthy improvements as yet.

“The average number of firms in one tender was 2.6 bidders, which is the lowest figure seen since 2010,” reads the text, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Public administration concluded more than 6,000 competitions worth a total of €7.5 billion in 2014. On average, they lasted 187 days, which amounts to a month and half longer than in 2013. This trend is partially due to higher share of tenders above €1 million financed from EU funds that take longer than those without EU funding.

“Based on data released by state authorities, only 17 percent of competing firms provided information on their ownership structure all the way down to individuals,” TIS said, as quote by TASR. “For instance, Váhostav and Medical Group SK acquired commissions the past year without the public knowing its real owners.”

The main positive development in 2014 was that the number of tenders with a single bidder continues to decrease, said TIS. In the past year, it was only one-third of all public tenders whereas back in 2009 the number stood at almost two-thirds.

Potential to speed up tenders as well as number of competing bidders lies in the electronic marketplace. During the first four months of its operation, there were 3.8 companies in tenders on average and the cost-savings represented 17 percent. Competitions on goods regularly purchased took no longer than seven days.

Only 250 deals collectively worth €1.8 million were concluded during the trial run, with two-thirds of these being for less than €1,000.

“The e-marketplace can bring about real change only if commissions worth hundreds of thousands will go through it, too,” TIS added.

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