Lack of transparency in public procurement increases doubts about corruption

Prishtina, 29 May 2018 – Lëvizja FOL held today the a roundtable where the report was discussed “Th Transparency in Public Procurement in Kosovo”. Panelists at this roundtable were: Osman Bytyqi from PPRC, Agim Sheqiri from PRB, Mursel Racaj from CPA and procurement officials from ministries as well as representatives of media and non-governmental organizations.

Jeton Zulfaj, programe manager from Lëvizja FOL t said the report is a summary of the annual public procurement monitoring report in three ministries: the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development.  “This report also contains an update of the legal analysis from 2016 bringing the case of Estonia and an analysis of the importance of opening public procurement planning in Kosovo,” said Zulfaj. “The law on commercial companies has not changed yet. It is important that this law needs to be changed in the sense of providing a lot of information about the person who benefit from behind these businesses. It is evident that certain persons may be affiliated with those who benefit from public tenders. Also, procurement officials are vulnerable to corruption and should also be subject to property declaration, “Zulfaj said. According to him, FOL findings from monitoring it appears that there is discrepancy in the publication of data between the PPRC’s and E-Procurement web sites, contract notices, contract award notices and contract signature notices.

Osman Bytyqi from the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission agrees with many of the FOL findings. “The law has not entered a legislative agenda for this year but they have promised to enter in the agenda next year and we are part of the working group and I believe that the contracts will be public soon,” Bytyqi said.

Meanwhile, Agim Sheqiri, from the Public Procurement Review Body, said that the current legal basis is very good, but should focus on the sustainability of the projects. “We have to focus on sustainable procurements this year. We are witnessing that sometimes things are not done well. We buy machinery but are not durable. The ministers come up inaugurating projects but they do not end because there are shortages in the system”, Sheqiri said, adding that there are cases that one owner stands behind 2-3 other companies.

Whereas Mursel Racaj from the Central Procurement Agency (APQ) said that the CPA started with the establishment of central procurement, but the increase of this list is becoming a challenge due to the lack of procurement officers in the CPA. “In addition to this, monitoring and implementation of contracts are also facing with problems in practice. Responsibility mostly falls on officials responsible for monitoring and enforcing contracts. Therefore, I encourage you to do more in implementing and monitoring contracts, “said Racaj.