[TV N1] The criterion on economically most beneficial offer applied only in 7% public procurements

In software development, translation and procurement of architectural and construction services, the selection of the lowest price in the public procurement procedure is not an efficient solution, and yet the criterion of the most economically advantageous bid is used in only 7% of analyzed cases. Nikola Komšić, Policy Coordinator from NALED, spoke about why price should not be the only criterion for the selection of these services, how they are currently procured, what are the specifics, what determines the quality, as a guest on the show New Day on TV N1.

Analyzes of the state of public procurement in three areas were conducted within the project "Effective public procurement in the service of economic growth" funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The goal of the project is to improve the public procurement system. According to him, there are several reasons why these areas were chosen.

- First of all, in the period when we conducted this analysis, the services sector achieved growth when it comes to the value of procurement. In 2020, it had a share of 28%, which is an increase compared to 2019, when it participated with 22%. Secondly, these are services of an intellectual nature where quality must take precedence over price, and we found this support in the solution of the Law on Public Procurement in Slovenia, where they prescribed that for these procurement items price should not be the only criterion for awarding the contract, Komsic points out.

As he stated, in the previous period there have been large infrastructure projects in these areas in our country which are preceded by services of project-technical documentation. The process of digitalization is ongoing, as well as eGovernment development, and also due to the EU accession process, the ministries and other state institutions are in need of consulting services, translation services.

- What we found in these analyzes is that the clients do not conduct adequate market research and thus are not aware of how they can ensure quality and competition. On the other hand we found that 97% of clients believe that they need additional training for the application of criteria other than price, and a very interesting fact that 87% of the surveyed customers are familiar with the criterion, but only 35% of them apply the quality criterion in practice, which means that they use the lowest price criterion to avoid mistakes in practice, which is not good, explains Komšić.

When it comes to the new Law on Public Procurement, he pointed out that the law is harmonized with EU directives, that it has contributed to greater transparency and efficiency of procedures, and added that the number of offers in the analysis of architectural services has increased compared to the previous period. However, contracting authorities should have additional training in terms of how to do quality market research, how to prepare tender documents, to encourage competition.

As part of the project, guides have been developed and extensive training is being conducted for contracting authorities in these areas in order to apply the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender.

You can watch the full show below. 

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