New public procurement review procedures for Egypt were discussed in Cairo on 6-7 April 2016 PRINT E-mail

[21/04/2016] The Ministry of Finance of Egypt invited the OECD/SIGMA, the UNCITRAL Secretariat and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to exchange experience on setting up review bodies for dealing with complaints in public tenders. On 6 and 7 April 2016 a close session was held with members of the General Authority of Government Services (GAGS), in particular the team drafting amendments to the public procurement law and members of the office in charge of complaints.
The purpose of the meeting was to share information and experience, in particular on the existing systems of review bodies, on available remedies, on the various review cultures that may exist in different national systems of public procurement and to discuss reform implementation challenges, provisions needed in secondary legislation and other related topics.

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      Khalid M. Nofal and Philip ter Woort                       Sharing information and experience                   Participants of the session on 6 April 2016

Events_agenda During the first session, on the basis of a presentation done by Eliza Niewiadomska, EBRD Legal Transition Programme, the participants discussed different control mechanisms and the role of the complaint system, how the regulatory framework should be led by simplicity, speed of the process, cost-effectiveness, certainty, and the aim to be fit to the context. Samira Musayeva, UNCITRAL Secretariat, explained what is expected from the public procurement complaint function, in the light of the last chapter on challenge proceedings of the UNCITRAL Model Law, which led to questions on whether and how organising fees and on the standstill period.

Zoran Blasevic, who was the Secretary General of the first Croatian State Commission for the Supervision of Public Procurement Procedures, talked on the impact of the review function on the public procurement market and how it could improve the general perception about public procurement. Zoran’s presentation gave rise to another discussion about the independence of the complaint body and the need to have its decision effectively enforced.

The second session was devoted to the ways of restructuring a complaint office, giving it a new mandate and institutional set-up, with the participation of the aforesaid and Erika Bozzay, senior policy adviser in the OECD/SIGMA programme, and Olivier Moreau, consultant for the EBRD. Erika gave a presentation on legal protection in public procurement. The general discussion was structured on a series of questions: the mandate of the office for complaints (should the disputes regard tendering only or including implementation of the contract?), its coverage (should all decisions in the tendering process be challengeable?), who can complain (actual bidders only, or potential ones also or members of public?), which procedure is used (tribunal or administrative?), whether resorting to the Complaint Office should be an option or a mandatory step before going to court or arbitration, whether the Complaint Office should rather have a binding role or an advisory one, the question of delays in the procurement procedures and how to avoid them.

From the series of questions debated, it was outlined what could be the format of the new Complaint Office in Egypt. Philip Engels, EBRD consultant, presented the examples of Italy and Cyprus institutional and legal framework. This gave the way to new discussions, in particular on fees and possible alternative solutions.

The session on insights for drafting the secondary legislation related to the Complaint Office was held next day. The outcomes of successive discussions were synthesised in a document to serve as a table of content for secondary legislation on review.

Additionally, this session gave an opportunity to take stock of the last developments of eProcurement in Egypt, its scalability, and to delineate the steps for elaborating a national public procurement training strategy.

    Philip Engels, Khalid M. Nofal, Erika Bozzay                     Lively discussions between the sessions           Ahmed Kamal Aldin and Zoran Blazevic

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