This week, the issue of public procurement monitoring, which is dealt with by the draft law No. 4738-д, was put on the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Previously (on 22 March), the draft law had been approved by the Committee on Economic Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The draft was prepared based on another draft law, No. 4738, authored by A. Koshelieva, A. Ivanchuk and B. Mativskyi. The former draft law was elaborated by a working group, which included representatives of the authorities concerned as well as of international non-governmental organizations. These included the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, the State Audit Service of Ukraine (SASU), the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, the Harmonisation of Public Procurement System of Ukraine with EU Standards Project and Transparency International Ukraine.
The basic idea of public procurement monitoring is that the SASU representatives will be able to analyze the procurement process and draw conclusions aimed at preventing possible violations of the laws without suspending the procurement process itself. At the same time, customers will be given the possibility to provide explanations or reasonable denials as well as to appeal SASU’s decisions in front of a court. The bodies of the SASU will be able to monitor specific procurement procedures if customers do not object it or if their objections are deemed groundless.
According to the draft law, the exchange of information between the monitoring body and a customer during the monitoring process will be done electronically and made available on the online procurement system (ProZorro). In addition, the closing paragraphs of the draft law establish a transition period of up to three months, during which the current correspondence procedure between the SASU and customers will be maintained until the technical aspects of the establishment of an electronic correspondence system are solved.
As part of a suggestion by TI Ukraine, which ended up being reflected in the draft law, one of the main criteria for initiating a procurement monitoring procedure is a procurement’s risk-indicator. It is worth mentioning that risk-indicators are already successfully being used in analyzing below-threshold procurement, which is reviewed through the ProZorro system. The use of risk factor system aims at enabling the automatic selection of procurement procedures based on some certain indicators, the system responds.
Despite some risks concerning the efficient implementation of a monitoring function which creates an opportunity to appeal the SASU’s decisions and the lack of standards necessary for regulating the SASU’s authorities regarding the appeals of civil society organizations (as to the grounds for monitoring), the introduction of an active monitoring mechanism through analyzing procurement processes has to be completed. After performing the analysis of the draft law No.4738-д, TI Ukraine generally recognizes the necessity of it being passed to legally regulate the monitoring of procurement procedures with which the SASU is tasked.