Civil Activists and Media Learn to Effectively Monitor Public Procurement

On 1 June 2017, an on-line training course “Public Contracts and Civil Society Monitoring” designed to improve an oversight role of civil society in monitoring public contract operations was launched.

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The on-line training course “Public Contracts and Civil Society Monitoring” is a free non-mandatory introductory training for NGO activists intended to improve the positive influence of civil society on public sector operations by encouraging them to play a significant and meaningful role in all elements of the life-cycle of public contracts and business operations (from planning/budgeting to contract performance) and in reinforcing effective public procurement monitoring. The course is available free of charge via a specialised educational platform Open University of Maidan. The estimated target audience for the course is some 5,000 civil society activists.

Mr. Oleksandr Shatkovskiy, Deputy Team Leader, EU Project “Harmonisation of Public Procurement System in Ukraine with EU Standards”, said: “Since the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, civil society activists play a very important role and have a notable influence on different reforms in Ukraine; especially in regard to the public procurement system. Nonetheless, the capacity of many activists to correctly understand public contracts and how to monitor them to ensure transparency and integrity in the public sector remains insufficient and needs further development. Accordingly, the free on-line training for civil society is a necessary element in increasing the level of professionalism across the Ukrainian public procurement system and, hence, its harmonisation with EU standards, as envisaged by the Public Procurement Strategy/Road-Map.”

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Mr. Olexandr Starodubtsev, Head of the Public Procurement Regulation Department of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, expressed his gratitude to all the partners and donors of the training programme and said: “The present public procurement reform is based on a new approach known as “the golden triangle” involving the closest collaboration between the State (procuring entities and State bodies), business and civil society. Each of these stakeholders has a need for good knowledge and skills to successfully carry out their activities and to ensure proper coordination of their specific roles. The “Public Contracts and Civil Society Monitoring”course will therefore equip civil society with the necessary competences and tools to more effectively control the public money spending.”

The course was developed by the EU-funded Project, in cooperation with the USAID, UKaid and Eurasia Fund’s Project “Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services”, Transparency International Ukraine and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

The training lecturers include specialists from the EU Project, Transparency International Ukraine and the leading Ukrainian procurement experts. The course trainees will learn about practical use of specific monitoring tools, about how to react to violations and mistakes in public contracts, basic rights of civil society and international experience of civil society monitoring.

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“Public Contracts and Civil Society Monitoring”is the third online course on public procurement, developed with the support of the EU-funded Project. In 2015 the Project together with the MEDT launched the first ever in Ukraine (and second in Europe) on-line course on public procurement aimed to increase the professional level of some 100,000 public officials working in public procurement system. The specific course for business became fully available and operational from 14 February 2017.

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