Crucial move to cut secrecy on public spending
A minimum majority in the Verkhovna Rada (226 MPs) has managed to pass
The law reduces the number of cases which are excluded from the scope of the Public Procurement Act, meaning that the public will now once again be able to find out how a significant amount of public funding is being spent.
The law also apparently adapts the procedure for buying from one bidder to comply with such procedure in European countries and restricts the grounds allowing public procurement without tender in order to reduce such practice.
A perhaps less understandable innovation is the norm waiving the need to post information in a state official printed publication on public procurement and in the international information bulletin on public procurement. The information must, however, be published on the website of the Authorized body “in order to simplify accessibility; place information about public procurement, save public funding spent on the publication of such information and to ensure transparency of access to information about public procurement.
“Authorized body” is defined in Item 29 as being the “central executive body which carries out state policy in the field of public procurement”. Who this body is at present is not clear.
It is worrying, although not surprising, that the draft law only just managed to get a majority after a few failed attempts. It is particularly telling which parties opposed the bill. The Party of the Regions and communists formed the parliamentary majority throughout the years of Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency and adopted laws which reduced transparency of public procurement.
In August 2012 Yanukovych signed into law a bill removing vast amounts of public funding from the tender process and therefore from the public eye. Law
A law had already been passed
Six months after Yanukovych signed the 2012 bill, the civic watchdog “Nashi Hroshi” [“Our Money”]
They compared the sizes of the tenders published in the Public Procurement Herald during January and February 2012 and 2013 and found that the number had halved, from 133 billion UAH in 2012 to 66 billion in 2013.