BUSINESS

Does the Law on Public Procurement represent the Source of the corrupt Practices in BiH?

According to many, the Law on Public Procurement of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is the main source of corruption in ourcountry. Of the 20 procurements, as many as 16 are negotiated without publicity, which is a unique case in the world. Changes that would improve this law have been discussed for years, and the proposal for a new law is in the parliamentary procedure. When it could be adopted, no one can say for sure.

As a survey conducted by the Association of Citizens “Tender”showed, every fourth public procurement BiH is transparent. This association has been proposing amendments in vain for years, which, if not prevented, would at least reduce corruption. They also proposed their draft law.

“If the ‘Tender’ law had been adopted, at least 900 to a billion a year would remain in the budgets of the contracting authorities, but it did not happen, and because of that, the robbery has now reached one billion and 600 million annually. That’s all legally, because the Law is like that. It allowed public funds to be stolenlegally which is what the political elites want, said Rajko Kecman, president of the Association of Citizens “Tender”.

“None of the outside observers can act preventively in case of any irregularities, even the smallest ones. It is the main problem of this law, which Transparency emphasized, where we, in fact, advocated the introduction of the institute of civil supervisor. Therefore, an independent person who will protect the public interest and public money, “said Damjan Ozegovic, Transparency International BiH.

Inflating the prices of goods and services through public procurement, millions of marks are extracted, and the current law allows it to be done in a legal way.

“Public funds are enormous. They serve for enormous enrichment. All by law. And in the end, we, the citizens, have to pay for all that. It is a law that requires serious intervention in order to bring into operation the savings that we need so muchbecause there is no money, “ stated Zoran Pavlovic, an economic analyst.

The opposition claims that the Draft Law on Amendments and Changes to the Law on Public Procurement, which is currently in the parliamentary procedure, does not contribute to the reduction, but opens a new space for new corruption. They believe that the ruling parties are deliberately obstructing the adoption of a quality law.

“I think it would be difficult for Inspector Clouseau and Sherlock Holmes to find out where the Public Procurement Actis now. He got stuck somewhere in the House of Peoples. Where the SNSD and SDA obviously have full control, they can agree to stop it somehow or to prevent others to trace it. But it is a catastrophe, “ told Branislav Borenovic, a member of the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly (PDP).

In May 2019, the European Commission set 14 priority conditions for BiH that must be met before the start of membership negotiations. One of them is the Public Procurement Law. Having in mind what kind of law we have, no one should be surprised that not only we do not have the status of a candidate yet, but that someone is actually talking and dealing with us at all.

E.Dz.

Source: BHRT

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