Journalists demand transparency on public procurement
Journalists writing on corruption have begun collecting signatures to a petition calling for a return to transparency over public procurement,
It calls for transparency to be provided over how public funding is used and for basic principles of honest governance, particularly with regard to public procurement. “Every month the average Ukrainian pays the state around 2, 092 UAH, in a year – 25, 102 UAH. At present the government has made it totally impossible for us to monitor how the money we pay is being spent. “
The petition explains that on 5 August last year Law No. 5044-VI came into force. This removed the norm in the Economic Code which demanded that State enterprises use tender procedure for public procurement. The same law also removes communal enterprises and businesses from tender requirements if the State holds a controlling share.
In 2011 State enterprises held tenders worth 250 billion UAH, with the overall amount of procurement worth 325 billion. The amount is comparable to the size of the State budget and the authors say that not one law in Ukraine’s history has make it possible to move such amounts into a gray zone.
Within 6 months of the law coming into force half the amount of public funding earmarked for public procurement had disappeared into the shadows. In the first two months of the budget year alone, 66 billion UAH could not be accounted for.
A comparison of the scale of tenders published in the Public Procurement Herald in January – February 2012 and 2013 shows that the amount halved – from 133 billion to 66 billion UAH.
These two months are particularly indicative since last year during January and February tenders were held for a quarter of the year’s public procurement.
“We therefore insist on the urgent adoption of Draft bill No. 2207. Its point is simple – State enterprises may continue to not run tenders, but they should publish information about what they bought, who from and at what price. “
Citizens must be able to check what is being purchased with their money. “Draft Law No. 2207 is an agreement between the State and taxpayers: reduction of bureaucracy in exchange for transparency.
Public procurement must be transparent!
The petition is open for endorsement here and has been signed by prominent media journalists and others.