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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Slovinia and Czech Republic consider procurement reform

Slovenia to Get Public Procurement Agency

PM Intent on Reforming Slovenia by the End of Term
"We'll reform regulatory mechanisms, which will move under the central government's wing and will be independent of the government."

Prime Minister Borut Pahor expects the government will make big savings through sweeping reform of public procurement. We'll combine all expert services in a central body."

The US Dept. of State, Background Note: Slovenia
The public procurement process, although compliant with most EU regulations and international treaties, remains opaque and riddled with favoritism and corruption.

Tender reform gets support in Prague
An expert group of politicians, business and NGO leaders have released final proposals for cleaning up the public tender process in the Czech Republic.

The collaboration of more than 20 organizations, called the Platform for Transparent Public Procurement (PTPP), has been led by the American Chamber of Commerce in order to create a more fair business environment in public-private partnerships by increasing transparency and efficiency.

Executive Director Weston Stacey has been a longtime outspoken critic of corruption and has put the biggest share of responsibility on the political parties.

After a show of support from all parliamentary parties on the report, a new tender law is expected to be approved after the elections, a momentary victory for the American Chamber's effort.

Of the 39 proposed changes, the two most important elements, according to the PTPP, are a civil-service law that protects government employees from being fired for being "disobedient" after elections and a law that would require full disclosure of owners of companies that are bidding in a public tender.

The PTPP is moving forward with a second document to address the other side of fair business practices: the Code of Conduct for companies that engage in both public procurement and public contracts.

COMMENT: The Guam Procurement Act contains Ethical Standards that are particularly applicable to those who do business with the government. Additionally, the Guam Chamber of Commerce has its own Code of Ethics that promote honest and fair competition, which I had a significant hand in drafting over 20 years ago.

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