Parliament on Wednesday discussed the 2014 report on the work of the Commission on Public Procurement Control, which underscored that 12.8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was spent on public procurement and so control of this segment is an important anti-corruption tool.
Lawmakers consider that legislation regulating public procurement requires adaptation and that the most economical and not the cheapest bid should be favoured.
The total value of public procurement in 2014 amounted to approximately HRK 42 billion, said Josip Boric (HDZ) and added that control of public procurement was important in the fight against corruption.
Zeljko Jovanovic (SDP) warned that the cheapest offer was not always the best. Often a lower price is offered even though this won't be sufficient to complete a building and then this is supplemented as unforeseen expenses, Jovanovic warned.
Reformist Radimir Cacic warned of European regulations which excludes bank loans from public procurement. Once the directive is implemented that segment will not be covered and the government has to urgently react by introducing compulsory tenders for loans, Cacic said.
The commission's chairman Goran Matesic reported that the commission had generated a revenue of HRK 19 million in fees and that only 3 of the commission's 9 members had worked. The commission handled 1,500 cases, which was 38% less than in 2013.
The reason for the fewer number of public procurement procedures and the higher amount in fees collected was in fact an instrument to prevent subsequent disputes and bagatelle benchmarks, Matesic said.
He recalled that this coincided with the use of European structural investment funds, which were much more complex and required more time to process.