Good international practices in Public Procurement - Prospects for Application in Uzbekistan
The workshop titled ‘Good international practices in Public Procurement – Prospects for application in Uzbekistan’ was held at the ‘Poytakht’ Business Centre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Organised by the Treasury of the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan jointly with UNDP project ‘Budget System Reform in Uzbekistan’, as well as UNDP and the World Bank Representative Offices in Uzbekistan, the workshop aimed at reviewing current situation in the area of public procurement in Uzbekistan, and how to enhance the PP system based on good international practices.
Public procurement is the acquisition of goods and services for public use, through a nation’s state budget. Success in public procurement means ensuring that the public sector can provide necessary goods and services at a high quality level, in the right quantities, and at the right prices.
Friday’s event focused on a number of key topics related to effective public procurement, including a review of the current state of public procurement and objectives for improvement in Uzbekistan, an overview of international good practices in reforming public procurement, in particular the procurement practices used by the United Nations Development Programme, and public procurement practices recommended by the World Bank.
According to Mr. Farhod Nurmukhamedov, Deputy Head of the Treasury, the Government of Uzbekistan pays significant attention to reforming public procurement system. A relevant Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan № 1475 and a number of other regulatory documents have been adopted. Furthermore, Governmental Commission on Public Procurement has been established, which has a mandate to develop proposals to improve the legal and regulatory framework in this area. Currently this Commission is overseeing development of the draft Law ‘On Public Procurement’. In this regard, in the process of development and discussion of draft law and draft regulatory documents on public procurement, it would be useful to get acquainted with the world-leading expertise in order to analyse the possibility of implementing its most beneficial sides that will be applicable to our realities. And today's seminar is another confirmation of this.
The workshop was attended by more than 40 experts involved into the public procurement sector from various governmental offices and agencies including the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education, the State Committee on Privatisation, De-Monopolisation and Competition, Commodity Exchange, and other relevant ministries and agencies.
According to Mr. Nagaraju Duthaluri, Lead Procurement Specialist of the World Bank, the system of public procurement in any country is associated with the provision of public services, and if public procurement systems is improved, then it is possible to achieve significant cost savings, as well as to improve the quality of public services. As to the principles of the procurement system of the World Bank, all projects that are funded by the World Bank, its procurement guidelines are unified and the only difference may be with respect to various business transactions. In Uzbekistan, the system of public procurement is governed by state regulations, and when relevant legal framework is developed, there is always a need to ensure that such a framework will promote competition and will drive down the prices. One of the ways to do that would be to introduce an electronic procurement system that will help to promote competition and to increase the transparency of public procurement.
The presentations delivered at the workshop described not only international experience in the area of public procurement, but also detailed procurement procedures, their positive sides and potential benefits of their use in Uzbekistan. The workshop participants also obtained theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to carry out public procurement procedures.
Public procurement currently accounts for around 11 per cent of Uzbekistan’s GDP, or one thirds of the nation’s consolidated budget, while it provides the public sector with necessary goods and services, and ensures Uzbekistan’s continued social and economic development. Improving public procurement efficiency should consequently be a national priority to be achieved through interrelated activities including the improvement of related legal framework and the creation of a modern system of governance, infrastructure and appeal procedures.
A special session of the workshop was devoted to discussing approaches and methods for improving Uzbekistan’s public procurement system based on the Government’s priorities, and best international experience.
This workshop is one out of a number of a planned events aimed at enhancing the capacities of professionals involved in this sector. The joint project of UNDP and the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan ‘Budget System Reform in Uzbekistan’ has been supporting the Government in the area of public procurement since 2010 and focusing on development of a draft law ‘On Public Procurement’, draft regulatory documents on major procurement procedures and practices, as well as the preparation of relevant learning materials.