Kosovo: EU to reform public procurement

Prishtinë, Nov 24, 2005 – The EU has launched the second phase of a project supporting the reform of Kosovo’s public procurement system, Kosovar media report. The first phase of the project, which supported the preparation of secondary legislation and capacity building of public procurement officers, ended in October 2005.
“The establishment of a workable public finance management system is a major challenge, and procurement is an essential part of this system,” said Nadia Constantini, Programme Manager at the European Agency for Reconstruction. “The Agency is supporting an important public procurement reform which encourages procurement based on transparency and competition,” she said.

The project managed by the European Agency for Reconstruction will support the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission to establish a modern and transparent public procurement framework in Kosovo, which is in line with the EU acquis communitaire. This is in accordance with the new European Partnership priorities approved on 9 November, which state that Kosovo will “adopt and implement effectively the revised public procurement law, including related implementing legislation” and “establish effective review procedures”. The project will thus assist to enhance the policy, monitoring and review capacities of public procurement institutions. Assistance will also focus on informing and training the contracting entities and the procurement officers in charge of managing the awarding procedures.
The project furthermore aims at increasing the access to information on public tenders by setting up a website providing full details on public procurement in Kosovo, including legislation and all information on specific public tenders. It will raise awareness of knowledge about the new public procurement system among the contracting authorities, economic operators, public procurement institutions and the general public. The project will last 18 months and is worth 1.5 million euros.

The procurement function builds an essential part of the administration’s finance management system and as such it is imperative for the financial health and well-being of Kosovo to ensure that an efficient procurement system is put in place and, more importantly, implemented and enforced.
The European Commission, through the European Agency for Reconstruction, has allocated about 20 million euro within its 2005 annual program of 51.5 million euro to support capacity building of Kosovo Institutions to more effectively perform their governance role and to strengthen the rule of law, in line with European Partnership priorities and the EU best practice, and in the context of the transfer of additional competencies from UNMIK.