The purpose of this paper is to analyze the procurement system of Georgia, including problems related to the implementation of the legislation, assess its performance, point out its strengths and weaknesses and provide recommendations on solutions. The paper is based on the assessment of the Public Procurement Legislation of Georgia (PPL) that was conducted within the framework of the project Transparent Public Procurement Rating (TPPR).
The assessment relies on the Transparent Public Procurement Rating methodology and its core benchmarks which comprise the following:
1. Uniformity of the Legislative Framework
4. Accountability and Integrity
5. Competitiveness and Impartiality
The assessment combines quantitative data analysis and qualitative research methods, such as desk research and review of legislative base of Georgia’s procurement system, websites of state institutions, state entity reports (State Procurement Agency, State Audit Office), interviews with officials from state institutions and official reports of various international institutions (the World Bank, OECD, EBRD). The research team analyzed the procurement data from 2011-2016, but focused primarily on the latest period of 2015-2016.
As per the study results, the Georgian PPL is largely satisfactory and does not have any glaring shortcomings. The legislation ensures the efficiency and integrity of the public procurement system. The e-platform enhances the non-discriminatory character of the PPL and ensures the overall transparency of public procurement activities.
Over the years, performance of the public procurement system has been satisfactory. However, some areas and indicators need improvement such as the volume of failed tenders and share of direct procurement in procurement activities, number of exemptions from the PPL and ensuring aggregated data on procurements is collected and published. The following changes need to be made in order to ensure that the principles of transparency, efficiency, impartiality and competition are enhanced in the Georgian public procurement legislation as well as practice:
Subcontractors - The PPL must be amended to include the obligation to make information on subcontractors public on the e-platform as soon as they are known. The following information must be made obligatory to publish:
- Country of Registration;
- Identification number;
- Address; Contact Information;
- Value of the sub-contract.
Reduce the number of exemptions from the law - The Georgian PPL must be amended to reduce the number of exemptions from the law. The Government of Georgia, in collaboration with the State Procurement Agency should remove exemptions on procurement made from contingency funds as well as by state enterprises from article Article 3¹ of the PPL.
Completeness of the procurement database – Relevant procuring entities, such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Administration of the Government of Georgia, and Ministry of Defense of Georgia must publish all procurement contracts and ensure that their public procurements are transparent. The State Procurement Agency should facilitate the process and ensure that the direct procurement database available on the e-platform is complete and up-to-date.
More detailed data - The State Procurement Agency should continue its efforts of restructuring and standardizing data that has already been published, adding more detailed data fields to e-plans and contracts:
1. E-plans should include detailed CPV codes and timeframe (month) of the procurements, as well as the location (region and municipality) of the procurement;
2. Contract related information on the e-platform should have the following fields added:
- Main CPV of the goods or services procured
- Detailed CPV of the goods or services procured (further breakdown is possible by indicating what is being procured, e.g. chair, table, beverages, alcohol etc.)
- Where applicable, country of origin of the product or service procured
- Date of cancellation of the contract (where applicable)
- Cause of cancellation of the contract (where applicable)
- Changes to the duration of the contract (where applicable)
- Changes to the contract value (where applicable)
- Changes to the number of units of procured goods (where applicable)
Aggregate, free to reuse data - The State Procurement Agency must provide all stakeholders easy and automatic access to aggregated procurement data through the electronic procurement platform, which can be reused freely and in a way as these stakeholders see fit. The State Procurement Agency should continue its efforts towards making the data locked inside scanned documents and PDF files (for example contracts) available in machine-readable formats via adopting the Open Contracting data Standard.
Dispute Resolution Board - A remuneration scheme should be established for the civil society DRB members and the eligibility criteria for civil society candidates must be made less restrictive and more specific to the field of procurement.
Contract performance module - The contract performance module of the e-platform should be available to all users, including guest users. The SPA must ensure that this technical flaw of the e-platform is improved.
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