American Chamber of Commerce joints discussion on public procurement reform in Croatia.
American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) supports the application of the most economically beneficial bid principle in the public procurement procedures as the primary criteria for selecting bidders. As for drafting a new law, it suggests some solutions which would eliminate the existing structural weaknesses in the system, according to a statement from the chamber released today, reports Večernji List on March 29, 2016.
Croatia is currently in the process of drafting a new law on public procurement in order to incorporate into the national legislation the EU directives aimed at the reform and modernization of the public procurement in the European Union. The US Chamber of Commerce believes that this process should be used to improve the public procurement system in Croatia.
The EU directives, among other things, highlight the importance of using the most economically advantageous offer criteria in the selection of the bidder. The use of this principle is a topic which is already present in the public and especially important for the health sector, and AmCham has been examining it for the last three years.
AmCham points out that the existing Public Procurement Act already permits the use of the most economically advantageous offer as the criterion for selection of bidders, but this criterion is rarely used in practice. For the contracting authority, it is often easier to select bidders based on price.
“When we take into account the long-term overall costs and effectiveness of products or services, including the aspect of quality and innovation, we come up with the actual price of the product or service. This encourages competition and the development of quality products and services for end users and saves public funds in the long term because there is less need for additional maintenance, replacements, etc”, said Andrea Doko Jelušić, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce.
Berislav Horvat, president of the AmCham, added that based on the experience of its members, both domestic and foreign-owned companies think that the biggest problem for the participants in the Croatian public procurement system is the legal uncertainty, which largely stems from the uneven application of the rules. AmCham also proposes the extension of the deadlines for starting the appeal proceedings, which are currently too short to allow for effective legal protection.