How to improve public procurement: new issue of EBRD journal – Law in transition online

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Public procurement reform dominates this year’s edition of Law in transition online, a journal published by the EBRD’s Legal Transition Team.

The report was launched in Vienna on Wednesday 23 October, at an event organised within the World Trade Organisation’s Regional Workshop on Government Procurement for Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asian and Caucasus Countries.

The latest EBRD research looks at how governments, from Ukraine to Morocco, are working towards improving their public procurement policies to achieve the best value for money while also meeting their considerable infrastructure needs.

Procurement best practices are becoming increasingly globalised. This year’s Law in transition online examines how governments in the region are faring in adopting new procurement concepts, and using recommended tools such as eProcurement.

“In the aftermath of the financial crisis, governments have an extra need to find goods and services that present best value for money,” explains Eliza Niewiadomska, Principal Counsel in the EBRD’s Legal Transition Team and the focus editor for this issue of the journal. “This can be achieved by improving procurement processes. International instruments such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement or the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) offer national governments templates for reform.”

Timothy Lemay, Deputy Secretary of UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law), said during the launch of the journal in Vienna: “Better procurement means a boost for a country’s economy, sometimes a sizeable one. Our Model Law on Public Procurement offers a template for countries to introduce or reform their procurement legislation, and we hope it will help them make procurement more efficient and weed out corruption.”

The new Law in transition online also: looks at how to measure public procurement reform; assesses the latest reform developments in Georgia and Croatia; and considers the state of public procurement in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

“This issue of Law in transition online testifies to the scope and usefulness of the work done by the EBRD in turning best practice into policy and to the challenges involved,” said Gerard Sanders, EBRD Deputy General Counsel, who opened the special session in Vienna. “International instruments concerning government procurement are becoming more closely aligned. This, together with increasing international cooperation in this area, is good news for all who support the development of modern procurement policies.”