The State Audit Service of Ukraine is the main supervisory body in the field of public procurement. It is the auditors who have the authority to respond quickly to violations during auctions, thus, to monitor. However, according to the Law “On Public Procurement,” the request of the tender participants does not belong to the grounds that may be a reason to start monitoring. What should a business do when its rights are being violated?
To appeal or not to appeal?
Despite the fact that business appeal cannot be a formal ground to starting monitoring, it is still worthwhile to turn to auditors. First of all, because they accept appeals from businesses, as well as appeals from ordinary citizens.
The State Audit Service is guided by the Law “On Citizens’ Appeals” and considers them for a month. If the auditors confirm the violation you wrote about, they will start monitoring.
When to contact auditors?
The State Audit Service is the main, but not the only supervisory body in the field. It is worth contacting if the procurement entity (procurement organizer):
- violated the deadlines for publication of documentation/information (for example, published a procurement notice, but did not publish tender documentation);
- provided untimely clarification or no clarification on the content of the tender documentation (this also applies to answers such as “read the tender documentation carefully”);
- avoided open bidding/simplified procurement procedures (for example, instead of conducting a tender, concluded several direct agreements on the same procurement item for a total value exceeding the thresholds for the relevant procurement procedures/simplified tenders);
- unreasonably admitted a participant to the auction;
- unreasonably disqualified a participant(for example, rejected the participant who provided all the necessary documents required by the tender documentation);
- unreasonably selected a winner (for example, decided on the winner of the procurement procedure and decided to intend to conclude a procurement contract with the participant who did not provide all the necessary documents required by the tender documentation);
- concluded an agreement with the winner the terms of which do not meet the requirements of the tender documentation and/or the bid of the winner;
- did not comply with the decision of the AMCU as the Appellate Body.
It is unnecessary to appeal to the auditors if you:
- encountered discrimination in the tender documentation;
- suspect conspiracy in the tender.
These issues fall within the competence of the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine.
Another interesting situation covers simplified tenders. They are not procurement procedures as defined in the Law, so they are not monitored by auditors. If your rights are violated within simplified tenders, try contacting the procuring entity or its supervisory authority to eliminate the violation.
In addition, you can also write to the Ukrainian MPs, the media and civil society organizations, such as DOZORRO, about the violation. The public interest increases the chance that auditors will start monitoring. They are also more willing to consider the tenders, violations of which can lead to large misuse of budget funds.
How to report violations to auditors?
Currently, the State Audit Service accepts applications by mail, e-mail or via application form on the official website. Appeals through the Prozorro website are not considered by auditors.
Choose the best method of communication for you and formulate your complaint. Be sure to specify:
- full name
- email address;
- name of procuring entity;
- procurement code in the Prozorro system:
- details of the violation itself;
- request to start monitoring.
In addition to contacting the State Audit Service, you can leave a review of the tender on the DOZORRO monitoring portal; the corresponding button is on the procurement page in Prozorro. All you have to do is log in and leave a comment. The civil society organization will process your feedback. If the violations are confirmed, the specialists direct the appeal to the procuring entity or its management organization, supervisory or law enforcement body.