State institutions spent 124 million euros on public procurement in 2018

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Most of the public procurement money was spent last year by the Ministry of Health
(39 million euros), while the Ministry of Economy is in the group of institutions with
smaller volume of public procurement (334,000 euros).
Ministries, government secretariats and Parliament meet on average 55.2% of the
maximum possible 100% of the criteria for transparency, accountability and integrity
in the whole public procurement cycle. This is a slight improvement over previous
years (in 2017 it was 53.6% and in 2016 it was 51.7%), reads the 2018 report of the
Center for Civil Communications, "Transparency, Accountability and Integrity of
Public Procurement Institutions".
According to the report, the Ministry of Health is ranked lowest, which is below the
level of meeting these criteria of 40%. The Ministry of Education and Science, which

was in the "red" zone last year, found itself in the middle group with 40.3% of the
criteria.

By contrast, the Ministry of Economy is ranked best, with only over seventy percent
fulfilling the criteria. Next to it is the Ministry of Defense, with 69.4% of the criteria.
The analyzed institutions together spent 124 million euros on public procurement in
2018. Individually, most of the money for public procurement was spent by the
lowest ranked institution, the Ministry of Health (EUR 39 million), while the Ministry of
Economy, as the first ranked, was in the group of institutions with smaller volume of
public procurement (EUR 334,000). The value of these institutions' tenders in 2018
increased by 73% compared to the previous year, i.e. from EUR 72 million to EUR
124.5 million. However, this value of tenders in 2018 is well beyond the record EUR
170 million in 2016.

The value of total procurement of all institutions included in the research during 2018
(EUR 124.5 million) is by 16% more than the total value of public procurement in the
country. 21 institutions analyzed in 2018 concluded 1671 public procurement
contracts.

Institutions with a minimum level of transparency, accountability and integrity in 2018
spent 31% of their money, compared to 2016, when that share accounted for as
much as 75% of the value of government and assembly tenders. The institutions
publish their annual public procurement plan on their websites, only half publish the
contract notices, and only two publish the contract notices.
On average, public procurement plans are 65% implemented. The lowest
performance of an institution is 32% and the highest is 92%.
Only four institutions received more tenders on average than the national average.
As much as 68% of the procurements, the institutions set the so-called reasonable
deadlines for submission of bids, i.e. longer than the legal minimum.
The concentration of tender companies has increased. In as many as five
institutions, the share of one contractor in the total value of tenders is higher than
40%, which is considered as a concentration threshold. Every third tender of the
analyzed institutions was annulled. Unlike last year's 25%, for 2018 the percentage
of annulled tenders is 30.3%. Individually, the percentages range between 10% and
73%.
Last year there was a jump of 73% in the value of the tender procedures of the
analyzed institutions. Only the Ministry of Health spent tenders as many as 17 other
institutions combined.

The report also shows that institutions' response to requests for free access to public
information is deteriorating. Last year they responded on average for 38 days, this
year for 42, although the maximum legal deadline is 30 days.
More than half of the institutions responded to the request for free access after the
expiry of the 30-day statutory maximum, thus violating the Law on Free Access to
Public Information. And this year, just like last year, the same institution responded
the fastest – the Secretariat for Legislation – in five days (last year for seven). The
Ministry of Health responded at the latest, in 102 days.
Having in mind that the Commission for Protection of the Right to Free Access to
Public Information does not function due to incompleteness and, therefore,
complaints lodged due to lack of response from the institutions remained ineffective,
three departments were sent to respond to requests.

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