Improving knowledge on the application of criteria of most economic bid, supervision over contract execution in public procurement and protection of competition, as well as familiarization with the system of public procurement in Italy were the goals of the recently study visit organized by NALED as part of the project "Effective public procurement in the service of economic growth", supported by the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (Sida). As part of the visit to Rome, meetings were organized with representatives of Italian institutions and international experts, which enabled the exchange of knowledge and experiences with the delegation from Serbia.
The first institution the participants had the opportunity to visit was the National Anticorruption Authority (Autorita Nazionale Anticorruzione - ANAC), where they got to know the structure of the organization and its competences in the field of public procurement, i.e. the mechanisms of supervision over implementation of procedures and especially control over contract execution.
- One of the special characteristics of this organization is that its financing is not provided by the state, but through charging a defined fee to clients and bidders. When it comes to supervision of contract execution, this institution involves a Supervision Unit that controls a database of public contracts, thus enabling supervision of contract execution for as many as 40,000 clients - emphasized Nikola Komšić, Policy Coordinator in NALED.
According to him, due to the large amount of contracts (20 million public contracts published in Italy since 2007), as well as the accompanying data contained in their database, a methodology and an algorithm were developed that allow the system to indicate itself if any major deviations appear for a specific procurement item. Also, their database is connected to the databases of other competent institutions in order to ensure quality and comprehensive supervision.
The visit continued to the Italian Authority for the Protection of Competition (Autorita garante della conconrere e del mercato - AGCM), presenting Serbian delegation with concrete examples involving cases of illegal agreement between bidders in certain public procurements, but also the challenges that exist when identifying such cases.
On the last day, lectures were held at the Faculty of Economics of Tor Vergata University, the first to establish an international master's program for public procurement management, which has been financially supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for 10 years. The topics discussed were public-private partnerships and concessions, the application of criteria other than price in Italy and the public procurement of innovations.
Along with EU and Italy’s legal framework regarding public-private partnerships and concessions, the Serbian delegation had the opportunity to hear about practical experience with the application of these special models, and learn more about the practice of applying criteria other than price in Italy, challenges in their application and public procurement of innovations.