Minister of Finance DSc Radoje Žugić and Director of Public Procurement Administration DSc Mersad Mujević handed in the certificates to public procurement officers in Podgorica today

On this occasion the audience was addressed by the Minister of Finance who stressed that:

During 2012, the strengthening of public procurement system was continued. The realization of tasks within the competences of Public Procurement Administration was provided, and these tasks referred to monitoring of application and preparation of public procurement legislation, analysis and implementation of public procurement system, in terms of its compliance with the EU legislation and proposing measures for ensuring that compliance.

Within the public procurement area, a new Public Procurement Law was enacted, which started to implement as of 1 January 2012. Along with the new Public Procurement Law, the implementing regulations were adopted, to name the few relevant ones: the Rulebook on Program and Method of Taking Professional Examination for Performing Public Procurement Tasks and the Program and Manner of Professional Education and Training in Public Procurement Field.

In 2012, a professional education and training program was initiated in accordance with the Program and Manner of Professional Education and Training in Public Procurement Field. In that regard, the trainings for representatives of the parties covered by the Law – contracting authorities were organized. Target groups of the conducted trainings were public procurement officers.

During the same year, in the part concerning organization and realization of training in public procurement area, within the existing Program and Manner of Professional Education and Training in Public Procurement Field of the Public Procurement Administration, a particular Training program for specific target groups – contracting authorities – public procurement officers, was established. During 2012, almost all public procurement officers were trained, that is, about 450 active contracting authorities and a significant number of bidders who attended these specialist trainings.

The public procurement system has been further harmonized. In accordance with the project proposal, previously prepared and delivered by the Public Procurement Administration, the EU Delegation to Montenegro recognized importance of providing further support to the public procurement system development in Montenegro by project activities of providing services to the key institutions in this area. Accordingly to the above, the project titled “Enhancing of the Public Procurement System in Montenegro” has been financed by the EU Delegation to Montenegro.

Pursuant to Article 15 paragraph 1 of the Decision on establishment of negotiation structure for accession of Montenegro to the European Union, the Government of Montenegro, at its session of 26 July 2012, adopted the Decision on establishment of the Working Group for preparation of negotiations for accession of Montenegro to the European Union for the part of the EU acquis concerning the Negotiation Chapter 5 – Public Procurement. On 27 September 2012, the Explanatory Screening Meeting was held in Brussels where the European Commission representatives presented the EU legislation in public procurement field.
Subsequently, on 19 November 2012, the Bilateral Analytical Review Meeting for Negotiation Chapter 5 was held in Brussels, where the level of compliance of Montenegrin legal system with the EU acquis in public procurement field was presented. The share of public procurement in the GDPs of the EU countries is about 15 %, while that percentage is higher in less developed European countries. In our country, the share of public procurement in national GDP is about 16 %.
Hence in the public procurement procedures for goods, services and works in Montenegro, during 2012, total contracted amount, according to preliminary statistics, was about EUR 400 million.

Analyzing the aforementioned, it may be stated that the public procurement, considering its share of about 14 – 16% in total GDP, are a key instrument for creation of market economy. By conducting public procurement procedures, the state directly participates at the market and its behavior has a great impact on the overall economic relations.

During the period 1 January 2012 – 1 January 2013, the contracting authorities concluded (according to preliminary results) about 5101 contracts, which are, compared to the previous year, a minor percentage higher.

It would be important to mention, as one of the vital components of Montenegrin public procurement, the level or intensity of competition in public procurement which has been increased from 4,34 bidders in previous year to about 6 bidders per procedure.

Minister Žugić stressed that all comments that were recently heard on the Public Procurement Law are a matter that could be removed by the permanent harmonization. He also emphasized what had been said in the European Commission report: “A good progress had been achieved in terms of general principles applied to public procurement in Montenegro”. A new Public Procurement Law and related implementing regulations, which entered into force in January, had greatly brought in compliance the general principles with those contained in the EU acquis. The new Law has encompassed the system of legal remedies, which advanced compliance in this area. Additional efforts are necessary in order to harmonize the legislation on concessions, as well as the procurement in utilities and defense, with the EU acquis.

The EU Delegation to Montenegro in cooperation with the Public Procurement Administration is working on a new project that will improve public procurement from the aspect of completion and introduction of a comprehensive electronic procurement system as well as on a project aimed at regulation of the utilities market, thus these changes would surely be a good opportunity for us to deal with some clarifications concerning the Classical Procurement Directive, as well as the concept regulating the appeal procedure.

Director of Public Procurement Administration DSc Mujević stated that: “Being a professional in one’s work is a feature that, by the rule, is not acquired without a lot of personal sacrifice and personal responsibility for it. You, esteemed colleagues, have succeeded in that task.

The certification process of public procurement officers is very significant, since it is not important merely from the legal aspect, but from the financial aspect as well, since the taxpayers’ money is spent.

The basic goal of this Project defined by the Law is establishment and development of professionalization in public procurement in accordance with EU standards.

The main components of the Project contain or have contained, primarily:

1. Training of public procurement officers within contracting authorities; bidders and other factors influencing the public procurement, above all, the State Audit Institution, Prosecutor’s Office, the courts, the NGOs, media…,
2. Establishing a functional information network among professionals that would enable the exchange of good practice, information, discussions, questions and answers and officers.

A key feature of the training and ultimately obtaining certification stems from the basic starting point, which is that “the procurement is an instrument for achieving the goal: buying that will feature, for the customer, the best ratio of value that can be found in the market at a given time, and in a manner of providing answer to the following questions:
– what does the contracting authority really need and
– what does the market offer at that moment.
In order to address these requirements and some more complex goals that go beyond mere legality and regularity of the procedures, some specific knowledge is needed, such as: cost analysis, market analysis, development of a strategic approach to public procurement at the contracting authorities’ level, etc., and provision of this knowledge required involvement of special experts and special training.

In you, our community received new support, because your knowledge will affirm the basic principles of public procurement, above all, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of spending taxpayers’ money and therefore you will also take responsibility.

You have much to offer as taxpayers, as the contracting authorities, as bidders and providers of knowledge. Knowledge is the basis for a functioning infrastructure in municipalities and the state.

I believe that, in the year 2013, with the maximum involvement of the institutions responsible for the functioning of the public procurement system and the people in them, now with you as members of these institutions, the public procurement in the country will be recognized again as a bright spot on the map of Brussels administration report”.