July 22 in Scoop.it by eisc No Comments
Although the defence budget is still not detailed enough, especially when it comes to companies owned by the military, Croatia has nevertheless made significant progress in ensuring transparency in defence procurement and ranks in the middle of EU countries, a conference on the transparency of public procurement in the defence system said in Zagreb on Friday.
The head of the Defence Ministry Department for Public Procurement, Branko Pribolsan, said that the number of classified items of defence procurement had been reduced from 50-60% two years ago to 5.7% of all items this year.
Classified items mostly relate to communications equipment, weapons and ammunition, he explained, adding that the ministry needs to ask for the approval of the parliamentary Defence Committee for any procurement exceeding five million euros.
As for inexpensive procurement contracts, for which public tendering is not required, Pribolsan said that such contracts were subject to stricter criteria than procurement by tendering. He said that last year such contracts accounted for 1% of all procurement by the Defence Ministry, and that the ministry tried to engage in all procurement projects as many business entities with security certificates as possible.
“We have prevented corruption to the maximum extent possible. Everyone is doing their job and no one can influence other participants in the procurement process,” Pribolsan said.
The chairman of the parliamentary Defence Committee, Tomislav Ivic, concurred, but warned that the continued reduction of the defence budget, which this year is as much as 100 million euros smaller than in 2011, made the execution of goals set out in strategic defence documents impossible.
Ivic said that significant steps had been taken to ensure transparent procurement in the defence system, praising the Defence Ministry for its regular reports on public procurement plans for the next year, a practice introduced two years ago.
Leah Wawro of Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme said that Croatia was among countries with a moderate risk of corruption in the defence sector. She warned that the defence budget was insufficiently detailed, that there was a lack of transparency with respect to companies owned by the military and the present legislation did not encourage whistleblowers.
Wawro stressed the importance of parliamentary supervision of the defence system and proposed engaging experts to help legislators in assessing the quality of defence spending. She said that such problems were also encountered by other countries, adding that USD 1.7 trillion was spent annually on defence in the world and that billions were lost to corruption.
Eugen Kogan of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies spoke of the experience of 10 former Warsaw Pact countries and Turkey, saying that there was no tradition of accountability to taxpayers in those countries so that the transparency of their defence budgets was very low.
The conference was organised by the Croatian Centre for Peace Studies with the support of the Defence Ministry.
July 22 in Scoop.it by eisc No Comments
On behalf of the European Commission, the Procurement of Innovation Platform project is organising a series of training sessions to provide both a theoretical framework and more practical advice on implementing public procurement of innovation (PPI). The seminar will be held in Hungary on 14 October 2014 and is aimed mainly at experts and procurers from the Central and Eastern European region.
Participation in the training is free of charge and on a case-by-case basis travel and accommodation for participants may be covered.
The training package is specifically tailored to meet different needs, and is suitable for both beginners and those with more experience. The latest PPI support tools will be introduced and discussed, and specific aspects of innovation and procurement, such as criteria setting or pre-procurement aspects, will be explored. Specially developed materials will also be provided and experts will be on hand to give advice.
If you are directly involved in procurement within a public authority and are interested in developing your skills, this training is an excellent opportunity. The one day training is free of charge and will consist of approximately 15 participants each. We strive for a balance of international participants, so invite people from across Europe to participate. The costs for travel and accommodation may be covered on a case-by-case basis
o apply, please send an email with your contact details to Péter Szuppinger. Applicants are selected on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum of 2 applicants per organisation.
Training is open for public servants working as policy makers, project managers and procurers. a maximum of two applicants per organisation are accepted. (The organisers reserve the right to reject applications to the training) Organiser: Procurement of Innovation Platform
July 22 in Scoop.it by eisc No Comments
- On behalf of the German Federal Government and in cooperation with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, KfW Development Bank has produced a Toolbox detailing how to include aspects of sustainability in public procurement procedures for Financial Cooperation projects. The guide places a particular focus on water infrastructure, energy with the focus on renewables, information and communication technologies, buildings and road construction.
“The Toolbox is a valuable resource and an important contribution to sustainable development through better procurement practices. It will support KfW staff and partners to access the benefits inherent in sustainable procurement through a step by step methodology. I strongly encourage those engaged in cooperative funding programmes to consult and utilise the Toolbox,” said Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre.
This guide provides a comprehensive and practical overview of methods and instruments to include sustainability criteria when developing implementation strategies and procuring goods and services. The concepts outlined are broad enough to be adapted to circumstances faced by any kind of procuring authorities in the field of Financial Cooperation.
The Toolbox also supplements advice on embedding sustainability with real-life case studies. The Municipal Wastewater Treatment Project of Samsun (Turkey) is one of many examples featured. The case of Samsun includes life cycle costing approaches in its evaluation, encouraging tenderers to offer long-lasting, low-maintenance plants. This measure, covered in detail in the publication, led to the resource efficient operation of sewage treatment plants.
KfW provides grants from the German Financial Cooperation fund to partner countries, with the aim of helping the countries develop sustainably. The bank oversees the procurement and tendering procedures, and ensures that transparent, fair, non-discriminatory and competitive procedures are complied with. Incorporating sustainability criteria when tendering is an effective way for governments to ensure public works minimise environmental impacts and ensure that products and services leave a positive legacy for future generations.
Undertaken correctly, sustainable procurement has the capacity to stimulate new technology, achieve more efficient public services, create jobs and provide solutions that reduce environmental impacts and are socially responsible. With public procurement accounting for a significant proportion of global spending, ensuring sustainability is embedded in procurement processes can have a positive impact on communities world-wide.
The KfW Toolbox on Sustainable Procurement is available online at bit.ly/KfWToolbox.
July 21 in Scoop.it by eisc No Comments
The United Nations spent $16.1 billion (£9.4 billion) on goods and services in 2013, 60 per cent of which was sourced from developing countries and those with economies in transition.
Pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, medical equipment, transportation, construction and food categories topped the list of spend areas, according to the latest Annual Statistical Report on UN Procurement.
Among the largest purchasers overall were UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organisation.
The total procurement spend increased by 4.6 per cent from the previous year, up from $15.4 billion (£9 billion) in 2012.
The report found a continuing “positive increase” in UN procurement from developing countries and those in economic transition over the last ten years.
From 2009 to 2013, procurement from these countries – which include Afghanistan, Brazil, China and the United Arab Emirates – increased by more than $2 million (£1.2 million).
Overall, the three largest countries of supply were the US at $1.7 billion (£994 million), India at $1 billion (£584 million) and Switzerland at $716.6 million (£419 million). Just over 3 per cent or $493.8 million (£288.7 million) of the total purchasing spend was with UK-based suppliers, the report found.
“General Assembly Resolution 57/279 on procurement reform encourages UN organisations to increase opportunities for suppliers from developing countries and countries with economies in transition,” the report read. “In response, UN organisations have placed more orders with suppliers from these countries.”
The report also revealed UN organisations are actively promoting sustainable procurement, with 24 organisations implementing a range of initiatives such as training and support for sustainability integration in the procurement process.