|Public Procurement Policy Making Roundtable, Astana|
On 19 May 2011 in Astana, Kazakhstan, as a part of the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum, the Bank's Procurement Department and the EBRD Legal Transition Programme (LTP) held a public procurement policy roundtable dedicated to a preview of assessment results. The event also launched the EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative on Strengthening Public Procurement Regulation in the CIS and Mongolia - a new public procurement technical cooperation programme, designed to support governments in this region in their reform efforts. Key national policy makers from the EBRD region as delegates to the EBRD Annual Meeting were invited to participate in the roundtable.
The roundtable presented the assessment's main findings and offered the opportunity to exchange views about the evaluation and its implications for public procurement reform in the EBRD region.
The roundtable was opened by Mr Jan Fischer, Vice-President, EBRD and Mr B. B. Zhamishev, Minister of Finance of Kazakhstan, who welcomed participants and expressed their support to reforming public procurement systems in order to increase efficiency of public spending.
Session 1: EBRD 2010 Assessment
Ms Eliza Niewiadomska of Legal Transition Programme discussed findings on the quality of public procurement legislation, rated in the assessment as very low to very high and on the quality of local procurement practice in the EBRD countries of operations, which scored from medium to high. Nowhere in the region received very high marks in the quality of local procurement survey.
Mr Mate Vincze discussed the efficiency of procurement process in the local practice of the countries in the EBRD region, which again were found to significantly vary from country to country. Mr Evgeny Smirnov, of the EBRD Procurement Department talked about the efficiency of public procurement remedies systems and presented cases from Western Balkans where first independent remedies bodies were successfully appointed.
Session 2: Panel discussion
The second session, a panel discussion, was moderated by Professor Martin Trybus from the University of Birmingham and focused on a message from the assessment for the policy makers responsible for economic development and public finance. The discussion underlined potential gains from modernising national public procurement systems, including an increased efficiency of public contracts, reduced costs of tendering for all stakeholders and a boom for international trade.
The participants discussed best methods to increase efficiency of public procurement without compromising the transparency of the process, as well as the current governments' agenda regarding public procurement reform.