AmCham Macedonia Summer 2013 (issue 38) - Page 15

ANALYSIS public procurements from 2008-12 and Croatia awarded an average of 6.8% of total contracts to foreigners in the 20082011 period. The Government also recently announced that Macedonia became the first country in the region to fully implement the EU Directive for public procurement by introducing the requirement that e-auctions be used in 100% of bid procedures starting in 2012. However, regular reports from the Center for Civil Communications (CCC), an NGO that monitors public procurements on a quarterly basis2 with the support of USAID and the Open Society Foundation, cite consistent shortcomings with the procurement process and its outcomes. For example, in response to the government’s claims that e-auctions were being used in 100% of tenders, the CCC’s 2012 Q4 report counters that, E-auctions have been used in just 40% of the monitoring sample, while every fourth procedure conducted an auction to reduce the initial cost. Thus, budget savings were not realized in most cases. This is a direct consequence of limiting competition in tenders by applying exclusive criteria to determine which companies can compete.3 The report also highlights the growing number of tender procedures that were launched only to be ultimately annulled for one reason or another down the line. Nationwide, the percentage of cancelled procurements grew to 24% in 2012, the highest the figure has been in the last four years. Tenders are primarily cancelled due to lack of a sufficient number of bids from interested companies to ensure competitiveness of the process; many bids receive just one response, others none at all. However, the same report cited 408 contracts worth about USD $29 million were signed without prior public announcement and that roughly USD $83 million are allocated in 2 Many of these reports are available in English at: http:// www.ccc.org.mk/index.php?option=com_content&view= category&id=35&Itemid=117&lang=en 3 http://www.ccc.org.mk/images/stories/16_kvartalen_ mak.pdf. English translation provided by Emerging Macedonia staff. Emerging Macedonia Summer 2013 Issue 38 this way on an annual basis. The CCC report explains that, This procedure is used more often due to the government’s inability to schedule auctions since there would be insufficient competition. Weak competition, not using eauctions, an increase in the number of cancelled procedures and contracts negotiated without prior public notice are only consequences. The reasons lie within the tender specifications and particularly in the criteria limiting bidder participation and the technical specifications. Process questions aside, public perception of the government procurement process in t H[H\\Z[H]\H܈]][ۋHK]\]HXXYۚX[[Xܜ\[ۈ[Z\[ۋX[HXX^YH\[HH\^H^H[Z\[ۙYۈ]]HX܈\\[ۜوܜ\[ۈ[H[K\[\H\ܝوH]X[]]]H[[\\وH[KXܜ\[ۈYX\\\[H]]HX܋H\ܝ YHHX\Y[HZ[[۝[][ܙH[ ̉HوHX\H ]]HX܈[\YY\\^YYYܙYY]\[Y\]\XHٙXX[[ܙ\[XX[\˂H˛KܙKL ̍MB