90 civic organizations call on President not to sell out for a jar of black caviar
On 27 May a public protest action was held in Kyiv under the banner “President, don’t’ sell out!” It was run by the civic organizations who have joined together in an independent Partnership “For Honest Public Procurement in Ukraine” and marked the ceremonial sending off of an open appeal signed by 90 NGOs calling on the President to veto draft Law No. 7532.
The protesters prepared a presentation with a banner reading Law No. 7532 – Corruption! with the photos of the 231 National Deputies who voted for this extremely dangerous law.
As reported, the Verkhovna Rada passed the draft law in question on 17 May this year in its second reading. While it was submitted by the Cabinet of Ministers and was, according to members of the Government and the President’s Administration, supposed to have been agreed wiith experts from the World Bank and EU, it has in fact elicited concern both within Ukraine and abroad.
If it comes into force, it will make significant amendments mainly to the base tender law “On carrying out public procurement”. The amendments envisaged extending the use of procurement with only one bidder, for example where there is an urgent need to purchase something because of special economic or social circumstances making it impossible to hold to the timetable for a tender. This means that tender procedure could virtually never be followed. The list of exceptions from general public procurement procedure is considerably broadened (with 20 exceptions altogether) without procedure being stipulated for such procurement. For example, goods and services intended for events and official receptions with the participation of the President, the Speaker of Parliament and members of the Cabinet of Ministers would be removed from the force of the law.
The norms on insurance of the item of purchase without any stipulation of the procedure itself are also dangerous from the point of view of likely corruption. Nor is there adequate resolution of issues involving regulation of procurement for State, treasury, municipal and commercial enterprises where most than 50% of the shares are State-owned.