From April 2014, BiH has a new Law on public procurements, supplemented and amended in accordance with EU directives, 10 years after the first Law on Public Procurements in BiH was adopted.
Representatives of the Institute took part in a five-day Academy for public procurements, held on Jahorina from December 15-19, 2014, during which they learned about the advantages and disadvantages of the new law regulating this area, critical points at which corruption occurs during the procurement process, mechanisms for preventing corruption in public procurements and public procurement procedures which can differ depending on the needs of the procuring institution, etc.
Representatives of the nongovernmental sector and the media took part in the Academy because they, as relevant agents, are obligated to monitor the public procurement process, keep the public informed, point to possible corruption thus contributing to its prevention within their own capacity. The trainers were domestic and foreign experts with years of experience in public procurements, and thus familiar with all the steps taken to meet the needs of the public, including the appeals procedure, the right to which is guaranteed to all bidders who believe that their offer was unjustly excluded from further consideration, or who suspect malversations in the public procurement process.
The competent bodies for the public procurement process in BiH are the Public Procurement Agency whose role is advisory and the Appeals Office. There are 3035 contracting authorities in BiH, on all levels of government. Pursuant to the new Law on public procurements of BiH, two other Appeals Offices will be established in Banja Luka and Mostar, with jurisdiction over appeals regarding public procurements up to 800,000 BAM, on their territory. The Appeals Office in Sarajevo, thus far the only one, retains jurisdiction over public procurements exceeding 800,000 BAM.
Experts in issues regarding public procurements believe that the current law is better than the previous one, but that it must be harmonised with the new Directives of the European Union, which were changed this year.
The Academy was organised by the Public Interest Advocacy Center, in partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) and Analitika â€“ Center for Social Research, with the financial support of the EU.