Towards more Efficient and Transparent Public Procurement
Initial version of the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Public Procurement” and draft Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers "On measures for further improvement of public procurement of goods (works, services)", have been discussed during the extended meeting of the Interagency Working Group held on 14-16 February 2014 in Tashkent region.
The event was organized by UNDP “Budget System Reform in Uzbekistan" project jointly with the Treasury of the Ministry of Finance. UNDP has been supporting the Government of Uzbekistan in reforming public procurement legal framework through its joint project with the Ministry of Finance that mainly focuses on facilitation of participatory approach in drafting legal and regulatory documents, development of relevant methodological materials on procurement procedures and capacity development of experts in this area.
It should be noted that a number of regulatory documents including the Presidential Resolution #1475 ‘On Optimization of Public Procurement and wider involvement of Small Businesses into this process” have been adopted recently in order to improve the public procurement system. Additionally, under this resolution an Interagency Working Group including representatives of the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economic Relations, Investment and Trade, State Committee for privatization, monopolization and competition, Uzbek Commodity Exchange, and etc. was established in order to develop recommendations and proposals on further strengthening public procurement legal framework.
This meeting of Interagency Working group was aimed at detailed discussion of above mentioned legal and regulatory documents with participation of representatives from key interested ministries and agencies, consulting companies, international organizations including UNDP and the World Bank, independent experts and others. In order to ensure a participatory approach and better quality of the draft documents it was important to take into consideration and get feedback from key budget recipients as well as leading experts in this area.
A special sessions of the meeting were devoted to presentation and discussion of the outline of the Concept paper on development of public procurement system until 2025 as well discussion of draft Regulations on competitive bidding, competitive listing (shopping), direct purchase and etc.
"Currently the Law “On Public Procurement” does not exist. The procurement rules and procedures are regulated by Presidential and Governmental resolutions," said Mr. Dilshod Urinbayev, Director of 'TashkentTenderConsulting'.
"And I am particularly pleased that today we have an opportunity to work on every part of the draft Law and draft by-Law jointly with representatives of key governmental agencies under the support of UNDP and the World Bank. The main purpose of drafting new legislative documents is to strengthen the existing legal framework based on lessons learnt, introduction of novelties aimed at creation of modern public procurement system in the country free from bureaucracy. First of all, it is important to simplify and streamline procurement procedures that would help to buyers as well as suppliers rather than hamper them. We can confidently say that clear and well-defined procedures are extremely needed in order to resolve all issues currently addressed by public procurement process participants."
Further meeting participants actively discussed norms and rules proposed by the revised draft documents. Experts paid particular attention to the provisions that would ensure competition, transparency, accountability, good value for money, efficiency of public procurement, as well as resolve problems currently occurred in procurement practices. Additionally it was recommended to revise procedures related to preparation of tender biddings, defining of maximum price, division at stages as well as appealing bidding results and etc. It was also proposed to make special amendments that would further ensure the flexibility and simplification of procurement procedures.
The ‘Budget System Reform in Uzbekistan’ project is a joint initiative of UNDP and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan aimed at promoting the reform process in Uzbekistan towards improving the efficiency, accountability and transparency of its budget system.