The main aim of the project is to improve public procurement (PP) in Georgia through strengthening integrity of PP and developing anti-corruption tools, improving possibilities of entering into tenders, increasing access to information about this process and generating pressure on government to change PP legislature. Both project partners, Transparency International Slovakia (TIS) and Transparency International Georgia (TIG) are confident that this change is feasible. The main precondition of this claim is that the Georgia government implemented many economic and political reforms what contributed to strengthening Georgia’s status in the world indexes. This motivation to make and continue with reforms stems from Georgian foreign-policy aim to integrate itself into Euro-Atlantic structures. The success of the project will be measured by the final inquiry between deputies, media and other PP stakeholders and their opinion on how will they perceive the situation in PP after the end of the project.

Both TIS and TIG chose the sector of PP because in this area the changes and the will to improve situation is quite visible. However, some of the PP reforms, howsoever effective, is not perfect and it requires further amendments which this project aims to implement. Effective PP is one of the tools which has potential to boost public trust in good governance. Moreover, XX million EUR of public resources is annually put into this sector what means that efficiency in PP can bring immense saving in public finances.

The above-mentioned aim to improve PP should be achieved by means of many activities. The main purpose of them is to improve analytical capacity of chosen local project partner and other representatives of civic society through the transfer of Slovak know-how in the area of PP to Georgian environment. This, in turn, will help Georgia to improve PP and implement useful activities even after the end of the project what will serve to other purpose – strengthening knowledge capacity of PP stakeholders and improving dialog between government, civic society and private sector. Moreover, the activities are designed in the way that they support civic society and private sector through proposing tools to male access to information about PP and access into tendering more approachable. Indicators of the project processes will be development of PP analysis and open public procurement portal, brochures with anti-corruption recommendations in PP for government, and the number of seminars, workshops and trainings carries out with the considerable number of their participants or new portal’s visitors.

To achieve the all of the above-mentioned goals, TIS and TIG have prepared the list of activities which should be fulfilled within the timeframe of the project. These activities are as following: organisation of workshops, trainings, seminars, development of analysis, transfer of know-how, development of open public procurement portal, brochures with anti-corruption recommendations for government, informative minimum about the steps in PP etc. Naturally, execution of these activities requires strong and experienced project team – project manager, project coordinator and assistant, senior and junior experts, consultants, financial manager and many others. Both TIS and TIG possess such personal capacity and experiences what is demonstrated in the reference list.

Both project partners are strongly convinced that in case the project will get the green light it will be implemented in the best way and we would achieve our goal to improve PP in Georgia what, in turn, would cause improvement of economic situation, strengthening of civic society and improving of good governance in Georgia.

Activities:

Expert meeting between Transparency International Slovakia and public procurement experts in Georgia. November 25-29, 2012 in Tbilisi, Georgia

Activities within the output titled Transfer of know-how for scrutiny of public procurement as a first step for identification and subsequent proposals for improving the state of public procurement took place during a three-member group’s visit by Transparency International Slovakia to Georgia on November 25-29, 2012. On November 27-28, also meetings with a representative of the Georgian state procurement agency (Mr David Marghania) took place, as well as with representatives of the German-Georgian Trade Association (Ms Uta Beyer) and the procurement organ of the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture (Ms Khatuna Chikovani).

Educational stay for representatives of Transparency International Georgia about public procurement in Slovakia. May 14-18, 2013 in Bratislava, Slovakia

In May, we prepared a series of meetings with experts on public procurement in Slovakia for our Georgian guests. To provide a wide range of information about public procurement, we have intermediated for them meetings with representatives of ministries (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence) responsible for public procurement within their resorts, with representatives of the private sector working in the area of consulting in public procurement and e-auctions, with representatives of local authorities, and with journalists who work on topics closely related to public procurement.

Schedule of meetings in Bratislava:

Day Time Person Topic
Tuesday: arrival in the afternoon
Wednesday: 9.30-10.30 Matej Kurian (TIS) Work with public procurement portal.
11.00-12.00 Gabriel Šípoš (TIS) Data from portal and how to use them, EU standards for PP, PP regulation agencies- how do they work from the transition countries perspectives
16.00-17.00 Jaroslav Lexa (APUeN.SK) Former director of PP department at the Ministry of Social Affairs (who now works in private sector), his experience with PP in state agencies, the new amendment of PP Act.
Thursday: 12.00-16.00 Jozef Mečiar, Šaľa PP in the local governments (in Šaľa-  the town that won our evaluation of transparency of local governments)
Friday: 9.00-10.00 Representatives of the Office for Public Procurement PP from the regulator’s point of view, dealing with formal objections, key features of successful PP regulator.
11.30-12.30 Representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs PP experience from the view of state agency.
13.00-14.00 Representatives of Ministry of Defense Public procurement at MoD, secret procurement vs. civil procurement, experience with procurement in the state agency
16.00-17.00 Adam Valček, Veronika Folentová (SME) Journalists that often work with the procurement portal to reveal untransparent practices in PP

Analytical study on Georgian public procurement

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Georgian analysts working on this study focused mainly on the legal framework in this field, different types of procurement, and mechanisms of eletronic system of public procurement. They analyzed their strengths and weaknesses, possibilities for improvement , and also risks in the further development of this system. The report is divided into five main sections. The first analyzes the institutional structure of public procurement and the bodies involved; the second examines the processes by which procurement is conducted by the state; the third looks at fairness and transparency and the mechanisms to manage these; the fourth describes exemptions to the current procurement law. This all followed by an overall assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Georgian system and recommendations for improvement. The reference throughout is with the European practice and to the ways in which the principles of transparency and competition are upheld.

Public procurement portal

Website is available on the address http://tendermonitor.ge/en and was officially launched at the press conference which took place June 14, 2013.

The website allows users to search, analyse and thus better understand contracts and documents of public procurement. The creation of the website was also consulted with the national procurement agency. Programmers have developed software which automatically downloads the data from the official national database of public procurement procurement.gov.ge.  This data is then reformatted in order to achieve more advanced searching options.

Users can search by following categories:

-company/ contractor (name, identification number, legal form)

-contracting entity (name, identification number of the agency, legal form of the agency that announces the procurement)

-tender (type of the tender, CPV procurement code, value of the tender, tender announcement day, stage of the procurement, identification number of the tender, number of competitors, number of submitted bids, keyword, risk factor)

Based on the know-how and experience of the Slovak version of the portal, the website also allows indicating of suspicious contracts or contracts with potentially higher risks of corruption.

Since its official public launch (14.06.2013) up until the 31st August 2013 the website has had recorded 7 213 visits.

Conference and series of workshops organized on the occasion of the launch of the portal and published study on public procurement

On the occasion of the launch of the portal and publication of the Georgian analysis of public procurement, Transparency International Georgia organized a press conference coupled with comprehensive presentation of the findings of the analysis accompanied with a press release. The press release was also published on the official website of the national procurement agency (http://procurement.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=10&info_id=1267).

The conference led by: Gerard De Boer (TI Georgia expert, main author of the analysis of the public procurement in Georgia), Mathias Huter (official representative of the TI Georgia), Derek Dohler (TI Georgia expert on work with the portal of public procurement), Gabriel Šípoš (TI Slovakia expert, author of the analysis of the public procurement in Slovakia) and Tato Urjumelashvili (President of the Georgian national procurement agency). The conference and presentation of the analysis and portal was attended by representatives of national institutions, media, nongovernmental organizations and chambers of commerce.

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Workshop on the results of the analysis of the public procurement in Georgia and the new procurement portal was held on the next day on the 15th June 2013. During this workshop it was presented how exactly does the portal operate and the main aim was to demonstrate how to use this data to detect suspicious tenders. The target group of this workshop were predominantly journalists, who have been shown how to use the data from the portal effectively: what can be demonstrated by the data, what are the typical findings and detections of errors in procurement on the basis of the Slovak experience. The workshop was led by Gabriel Šípoš (TI Slovakia expert, author of the analysis of the public procurement in Slovakia) and Mathias Huter (official representative of the TI Georgia).

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