The EBRD offers technical assistance for public procurement reform and national public procurement capacity development. The EBRD, as a major regional investor, is particularly interested in promoting policy development but also procurement best practice in the utilities sector and at the municipal level.
The main objective of the EBRD Legal Transition Programme in the field of public procurement is to support legal and institutional reform in the EBRD countries of operation by providing assistance to governments to ensure that national public procurement regulations are in line with international standards and best practice.
To pursue this objective and inspire development of the public procurement regime in the EBRD region, the Legal Transition Programme conducts legal assessments of public procurement legislation in the region and facilitates technical cooperation with countries undertaking reform projects.
The way ahead:
EBRD UNCITRAL Public Procurement Initiative
In the last decade, the EBRD has successfully provided technical assistance for commercial law reform to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS and Mongolia. The EBRD is convinced that legal reform work should go far beyond the drafting of the new legislation. It should also include institutional and capacity building and other measures necessary to implement reform from a practical perspective. Further, by combining country-specific reform projects with broader regional initiatives, the EBRD has been able to increase the impact of its legal transition work.
Since 1992 the EBRD has recognized the transition impact of sound procurement policies. From the outset the EBRD has been developing procurement policies and setting standards for procurement in transition countries. Despite continuous efforts, public procurement laws in several countries in the EBRD region remain unresponsive to the market economy. Much remains to be done.
As governments are increasingly aware of the economic costs of inadequate public procurement framework regulation, the EBRD is keen to support their reform efforts by drawing on the insight gained through the commercial law reform work carried out in the CIS countries, and its experience in conducting successful procurements for its investments in the region.
Efficient regulation of the public procurement sector can be based on several international standards. Apart from the EU Public Procurement Directives, the most comprehensive standards are those provided by the 2011 UNCITRAL Public Procurement Model Law. The EBRD has collaborated with UNCITRAL on development of the new 2011 standards, based on the premise that a collaborative effort between the EBRD and UNCITRAL would better benefit the region.
Several CIS countries originally based their public procurement legislation on the 1994 UNCITRAL Model Law. The objective therefore of the EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative (‘The initiative’) is to assist these countries in upgrading their public procurement regulation in accord with this revised 2011 UNCITRAL Model Law standard.
The EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative on Enhancing Public Procurement Regulation in CIS Countries and Mongolia promotes upgrading public procurement legislation in the CIS countries and Mongolia to the new UNCITRAL standard.
The Initiative aims to develop a series of public procurement reform initiatives, selected based on their potential transition impact and their relevance to the specific problems these countries face. The scope of individual country-specific technical cooperation projects depends on the governments’ public procurement reform agenda and their determination to invest the necessary resources to undertake reforms with the EBRD and UNCITRAL encouragement and tailor–made technical support that is designed to address each country individually.
The Initiative is delivered by a joint EBRD UNCITRAL team, supported by international and local public procurement experts. The Initiative was officially launched at the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum during a roundtable on public procurement policy-making in Astana, Kazakhstan on 19 May 2011. Presently, the Initiative activities cover Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan. More information about the Initiative can be accessed at: http://www.ppi-ebrd-uncitral.com/
EBRD GPA Technical Cooperation Facility - Working together with the World Trade Organisation Secretariat for Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
For countries in the process of reform of the public procurement sector, the accession to the Agreement on government procurement of the World Trade Organisation is a milestone in progressing competition and transparency principles in their public procurement regulation. The EBRD promotes accession to the newly revised, 2012 text of the GPA and cooperates with the WTO GPA Secretariat in supporting interested countries in their GPA negotiation process as well as addressing most pressing public procurement regulatory issues related to the GPA accession.
The Bank provides training and capacity building necessary for the GPA accession process and supports national authorities in preparing the GPA negotiation strategy and initial negotiations with the GPA Secretariat and parties to the agreement.
As part of the international community’s response to the historical developments underway in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (“SEMED”), the EBRD is currently extending its financial and technical cooperation operations to the region, including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
In 2012 the EBRD updated its public procurement sector assessment and, in preparation for technical cooperation projects in the SEMED region reviewed public procurement laws and practice in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. In 2014, the EBRD has initiated a review of the public procurement laws in Libya, which will be completed shortly.
The information provided by the SEMED Public Procurement Sector Assessment will help the EBRD to measure the legal and regulatory risks in the SEMED countries and in considering specific investment activities as well as will provide a basis for developing technical assistance to the governments in the region once public procurement reform is on their agenda. At the request of governments in the region, EBRD is prepared to develop suitable public procurement reform initiatives, in cooperation with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the UNCITRAL and OECD/SIGMA in particular.
More information about the SEMED Public Procurement Sector Assessment can be accessed at: http://semed.ppl.ebrd.com/.