[RTS] There are less and less bidders in public procurement processes

The state annually spends more than 300 billion dinars to provide works, goods and services necessary for the work of local and national bodies. For more than two years, public procurement procedures have been conducted electronically on the public procurement portal, but according to experts, Serbia is still far from what it is aiming for. They agree that the new Law contributed to the improvement of the procedure, but they say there is still room for improvement.

The state decided to "remove" the veil of secrecy from public procurement in 2019 by adopting a new law. As it was explained at the time, the goal of the regulation, which among other things, enabled the electronic implementation of public procurements, was greater transparency of the spending of about 300 billion dinars per year.

- Certain progress has been achieved, primarily because the new Law on Public Procurement, i.e. the new public procurement portal, has enabled greater transparency and efficiency of procedures. We now have data on how many environmental criteria have been applied in public procurement, as well as the number of social procurements performed - Nikola Komšić, Policy Coordinator in NALED, told RTS.

According to him, there is a big challenge in Serbia, which is still the excessive use of price as the only criterion for awarding contracts. During 2021, this happened in 95% cases, which is an increase compared to 94% in 2020, while the price criterion cannot always coincide with the required quality.

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