Prishtina, 26 Aprill 2018 – Lëvizja FOL held today the round table discussion “Monitoring of Public Procurement Planning” where was discussed for the realization of public procurement planning by the institutions monitored by FOL. Panelists at this roundtable were: Safet Hoxha from Public Procurement Regulatory Commission (PPRC) and Ekrem Rexha from Central Procurement Agency (CPA).

Jeton Zulfaj, programe manager at Lëvizja FOL said that FOL has consistently been dealing with discussions about the problems in public procurement. The problems that exist in this area are also highlighted in the latest European Commission report on Kosovo. “The European Commission’s Kosovo Report of 2018 has criticized public procurement institutions for ineffectiveness in managing the public procurement cycle. Among other things, this affects the realization of contracts, their management and inappropriate management of public money, “said Zulfaj. Meanwhile Gresa Smolica presented the data from the report on monitoring the public procurement planning. “From monitoring procurement planning as well as previous monitoring of contracts by monitored institutions, FOL has found some irregularities that have affected inadequate spending of public money. Also, public procurement planning is not drafted in accordance with the Law on Public Procurement and the planning monitoring by FOL does not explain in details the expenditures and activities that will be implemented by the contracting authorities,” Smolica said, adding that in 2017 many institutions have signed contracts that were not previously part of the final planning that was submitted by the institutions in the CPA.

Safet Hoxha, chairman of the PPRC, said that procurement planning is a multi-dimensional instrument. “This increases transparency and internal procurement control. Citizens can see how their money is spent, but they can also make comparisons with other institutions. So far, planning has been done in the form of a prognosis, without detailed research, “said Hoxha, adding that we have to have a detailed procurement planning which is done by the institutions. According to him, the publication of procurement planning removes somehow the concerns that may have procurement officials regarding the impressions toward public opinion.

Hoxha said that there should be a platform where procurement officers would report on the abuses they face. “We must address the responsibility of the bodies who plan and manage the contract,” said Hoxha.

Meanwhile, Ekrem Rexha from CPA said that due to poor planning, we have increased requests for non-foreseen procurements. This is due to the lack of internal coordination of the Contracting Authorities.

Feti Ibishi, Head of Procurement Division at the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, said that procurement officers have no protection from anyone, neither by the PPRC. We have been displaced from Departments to Divisions, “There are times when we do not have a prepared officials on management of contracts”, he said.

Arben Selimi from the National Audit Office said that this office audits the whole procurement process. “Problems are at the last stage of contract management. If the contracting authority does not know how much it spent last year, it is not possible to do a good planning, “Selimi said.