Progress and Prospects of Public Procurement Reform Reviewed by Stakeholders

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On 29 September 2017, the  Project and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade held a Fourth International Public Procurement Conference in Kyiv. The theme of the Conference, which brought together the main stakeholders in Ukraine’s public procurement reform, was: “Public Procurement Reform in Ukraine – Continuing the Momentum”.

Oleksiy Perevezentsev, State Secretaty of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, told the Conference: “Over the last few years, we have advanced from a mere concept and will for change to actual reform of one of the most important areas of the country’s public finance management – the public procurement system. This has been possible due to the joint and constructive efforts of the State, the business community and civil society, as well as the support of the EU in supporting system improvements and helping us to adapt to best practices and EU standards. To ensure that progress continues, we shall strictly follow the Public Procurement Strategy and Road-map approved by the Government in February 2016.

Mr. Thomas Frellesen, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, noted that, in the period since the Revolution of Dignity, there has been a much more positive environment in Ukraine for public procurement reform and that this was driven by wide-ranging citizen concerns about the effective use of taxpayers’ money, a growing determination to combat corruption, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and a close working relationship between the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the EU funded Project: “Harmonisation of Public Procurement System in Ukraine with EU Standards”. Nonetheless, he emphasised that: “While important reforms have been achieved, it remains vital that these reforms must not tire, they must not rest or become complacent on the basis of progress to date and they need a constant fresh commitment and energy if the momentum is to be continued and the extent of our mutually shared reform objectives is to be achieved”.

Dr. Eugene Stuart, the EU Project Team Leader,said: The process of creating modern, credible and EU compatible public procurement and State aid systems in Ukraine is making tangible progress at this stage – but these reforms will not be complete until around 2022. This is reasonable in Ukrainian conditions and based on experience elsewhere. Too much change too quickly can be highly disruptive and result in reforms not properly taking root. Both the Association Agreement and related Government Strategies in Ukraine recognise this step by step process. Thus, the key challenge now is to keep moving forward and resist any pressure to move backwards”.

The Fourth International Conference brought together 140 delegatesto discuss the latest developments, specific concerns and further steps in the implementation of the Public Procurement Reform Strategy/Roadmap, including priorities in the 2017-2018 phase of public procurement reform; opportunities for Ukrainian business in the EU market; State and civil control in public procurement; centralised procurement and professionalisation of procurement activities. Representativesbring together international specialists and Ukrainian stakeholders to discuss the new Public Procurement Strategy/Road-Map and key areas of the reform agenda, including: recent new legislation, future legislation, progress on e-procurement, the intended adoption of the EU Common Procurement Vocabulary and challenges linked to improving integrity and efficiency in public procurement, training and professionalization and the establishment of Centralised Procurement Bodies. Representatives from a range of organisations including the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the State Audit Service, the Anti-Monopoly Committee, Transparency International Ukraine, the EU Delegation to Ukraine and public procurement experts presented at the Conference.

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