Transparency International Ukraine has detected violations of the law and a number of unclear and discriminatory requirements for the procurement participants in the new tender of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAPC) for the procurement of audit services for the Register of e-declarations. The Ukrainian chapter of the global anti-corruption network appeals to NAPC to conduct an open procedure of a truly independent audit of the Unified State Register of Electronic Declarations.

On February 5, 2018, NAPC announced a tender for ITS audit services for the Unified State Register of Declarations of Persons Authorized to Perform State or Local Government Functions in the PROZORRO system.The deadline for submitting proposals is February 21, 2018. Among the tender requirements are, in particular, the following:

“… The participant shall have proper conditions to work with the official information …”. The request refers to the resolution referring to the State Service of Communications. Accordingly, there is a chance that participants without access to state secrets and those who have not received an expert opinion from this institution will not be able to bid.  It is advisable to clarify the requirements and, if necessary, to provide the winning bidder with the necessary documents after the completion of the tender. In addition, it is necessary to define a clear list of documents required from participants.

“The Participant shall apply exclusively Licensed and Research Software with Confirmed Compliance (Certificate of Conformity or Expert Conclusion).” The requirement needs to be clarified, however,  the point regarding the “expert opinion” can significantly restrict competition due to the expertise being provided by the State Special Communication Service.

“A note… concerning the experience in the market of telecommunication services of Ukraine and in the field of creation/administration of distributed databases of not less than 5 years”. The requirement is discriminatory and violates the equality of domestic and foreign participants ensured by the law on public procurement.

In addition, the terms of procurement allow for the possibility of specifying (supplementing) the terms of the draft Agreement upon its signing with the winning bidder. This violates the Law “On Public Procurement,” since the terms of the agreement cannot be adjusted during its conclusion.  The contract with the winner shall be concluded in accordance with the draft agreement, included in the tender documents.

It is worth mentioning that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine obliged the NAPC to audit the Unified State Register of Declarations by October 2018. The terms of the tender stipulate the term of service within 60 days from the moment of conclusion of the Agreement.Such short terms of service delivery, together with the risks involved in the procurement, may call into question the comprehensive, professional and impartial audit of the Register of Declarations.

The discriminatory requirements present both in this purchase and in the previous one as well (UA-2018-01-19-001054-b) may well be the reason why participants are reluctant to take part in the procurement.  TI Ukraine urges the National Agency on Prevention of Corruption to amend the tender documents in order to bring its requirements in line with the law and to provide reasonable time-frame for the audit of the Unified State Register of Declarations.

Also, please elaborate on the formation of the expected value of this procurement and preliminary purchases, including purchases UA-2017-11-27-000704-b, the expected value of which amounted to 199 thousand UAH.

Transparency International Ukraine’s Letter to the NAPC can be found at the link.