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08.06.2011

International bodies also call on President to veto Public Procurement Bill

   

 

According to the newspaper Kommersant-Ukraine, the European Commission [EC] and World Bank have formally set out their objections to Law No. 7532 On Amendments to Legislation on Public Procurement which was passed by the Verkhovna Rada on 17 May.  The newspaper says that it has a copy of an appeal from the EC and World Bank stressing the need to veto the law (the appeal does not yet appear to have been published on either body’s website – translator).

There are three areas which need to be changed or else financial aid will be frozen. As pressure mounts from international bodies and Ukrainian civic organizations to veto the bill,   the Cabinet of Ministers has stepped up efforts to persuade the President to sign it, saying that the amendments can be made later.

The letter states that certain points in the law lead Ukraine further away from European and international standards.

If financial aid is frozen, this will affect a 10 million euro loan from the EU and implementation of other financial projects.

The three areas of major concern pertain to:

1         exemptions for State-owned enterprises, with these not coming under the law;

2         cancellation of tenders for goods and services by the Agricultural Fund which “could have a serious impact on the development of domestic markets”’

3         new procedure for insuring the object of the procurement.

Ukrainian specialists support the demands of the EC and World Bank, but note that the latter have not picked up all the problems with the new law. According to Oleksiy Khmara, head of TORO, the contact group in Ukraine for Transparency International, the main problem in the new law is the possibility of procurement from only one bidder, this creating conditions for corruption.

He mentioned also that a group of Ukrainian experts have analyzed the bill and will also turn to the President with a package of suggestions regarding the veto.

From a report at http://kommersant.ua/doc.html?docId=1655645

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