The Government of Serbia has adopted the Program of Development of Public Procurement Procedures for 2019-2023, which envisages, among other things, the adoption of the new Law on Public Procurement Procedures. The draft law is undergoing the parliamentary procedure, and its implementation should begin on July 1, 2020.

The new law, as said in the Program, aims to have all public procurement procedures carried out electronically, to have the transparency of public procurement procedures and the number of offers per procedure increased, to have the number of terminated procedures reduced and to have the duration of public procurement procedures shortened. In line with this, the Ministry of Finance will also launch a new public procurement procedure portal.

– The new Draft Law on Public Procurement Procedures brings an important new feature – electronic submission of requests for the protection of rights. The new public procurement procedure portal, which is being prepared, will also enable electronic public procurement procedures, which is a great step toward reducing the barriers to the access to public procurement procedures, but also a tool for the reduction of bureaucracy and corruption. We expect this increase in transparency and the possibility of insight into the entire public procurement procedure to bring back the trust in public procurement procedures and enable a greater competition – the Ponudjaci Srbije (Tenderers of Serbia) association says on its website.

As said, the main objective of the Program of Development of Public Procurement Procedures for 2019-2023 is the further development of a modern and efficient system of public procurement procedures, which is achieved through four separate goals:

– making public procurement procedures more efficient and economical through the implementation of mandatory electronic communication in public procurement procedures;

– strengthening the competition in the market of public procurement procedures through simplifying procedures in public procurement procedures and reducing the costs of the preparation of bids, resulting in increased interest of business entities, especially small and medium enterprises, in taking part in the public procurement market, which should contribute to increasing the level of market competition, that is, the average number of offers in public procurement procedures;

– reducing the risk of irregularities in the public procurement system, primarily through the strengthening of the legal framework, increasing the coordination and cooperation of the competent institutions and strengthening their administrative capacities, as well as the capacities of procuring entities and tenderers;

– promoting and stimulating the environmental and the social aspects of public procurement procedures and innovations. The achievement of this goal will be based on increasing the use of environmental and social aspects in public procurement procedures, as well as on inciting innovations through legal improvements (the implementation of a new type of public procurement procedure – a partnership for innovations).

As said in the Program, public procurement procedures are an important component in every modern state. In a well arranged system of public procurement procedures, free competition enables the state to procure goods, services and works of the necessary quality under the most favorable conditions, whereas business entities are given an opportunity to work with the state under equal conditions.

Considering that Serbia is in the process of accession to the European Union, the starting points of the modernization of the public procurement system will be based on the public procurement priorities defined by the European Union in its Public Procurement Strategy:

– Ensuring wider uptake of innovative, green and social procurement;
– Professionalizing public buyers;
– Increasing access to procurement markets;
– Improving transparency, integrity and data;
– Boosting the digital transformation of procurement;
– Cooperating to procure together;