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Low competition increases price differences in which state institution buy the same products and services

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SKOPJE, 25 August, 2015 – Today, the Centre for Civil Communications published the Index of Rationality No. 13 developed for a new group of goods (electronic time and attendance log system, waste containers and chicken steak) and services (aerial mosquito disinfections and collection, transport and disposal of medical waste).

The biggest difference in price was observed in procurement of electronic time and attendance log system, while the smallest difference was noted in procurement of waste containers.

In summary, the Index of Rationality provides the following conclusions:

  • aerial mosquito disinfections was priced in the range from 176 MKD to 606 MKD per hectare, where the highest price is by 244% higher than the lowest price;

  • electronic time and attendance log systems were purchased at prices ranging from 43,200 MKD to 160,000 MKD per system, where the highest price is by 270% higher than the lowest price;

  • waste containers (metal 1.1 m3) were purchased at prices ranging from 12,383 MKD to 18,502 MKD, which means that the highest price is by 49% higher than the lowest price;

  • collection, transport and disposal of medical waste was priced in the range from 41 MKD to 95 MKD per kilogram, with the highest price being by 132% higher than the lowest price; and

  • chicken steak was purchased at prices ranging from 172 MKD to 315 MKD per kilogram, which means that the highest price is by 83% higher than the lowest price.

This Report is available here. For more information, please contact the Centre for Civil Communications on tel. (02) 3213-513 or by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

USAID Civil Society Project is implemented by the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia (FOSM) in partnership with the Centre for Civil Communications, the Youth Educational Forum, Reactor – Research in Action, and Forum – Centre for Strategic Research and Documentation.

NOTE TO THE EDITORS:

The American people, through USAID, have invested over $500 million in Macedonia since 1993. USAID works with the people of Macedonia to create jobs, strengthen democratic institutions and practices, enhance integrated education, and prepare students for the workforce. These initiatives improve the quality of life and support Macedonia’s transition to a stable and prosperous democracy. USAID provides economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries. For more information please visit USAID Macedonia Website and USAID Macedonia Facebook page.

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Major Differences in Price Attained by Institutions for Same Type of Goods and Services

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SKOPJE, 26 June, 2015 – Today, the Centер for Civil Communications published the Index of Rationality No. 12 developed for a new group of goods (traffic signs, fiscal cash registers and video surveillance cameras) and services (street marking and financial audit). The biggest difference in price was observed in procurement of financial audit services, while the smallest difference was noted in procurement of fiscal cash registers. In summary, the Index of Rationality provides the following conclusions:

  • traffic signs (vertical traffic signals) were purchases at prices ranging from 745 MKD to 3,882 MKD per 1 “STOP” sign, where the highest price is by 421% higher than the lowest price;
  • street marking (horizontal traffic signalization) was priced from 142 MKD to 354 MKD per m2, with the highest price being by 149% higher than the lowest price;
  • mobile fiscal cash registers were purchased by institutions at prices from 10,894 MKD to 16,772 MKD, which means that the highest price is by 54% higher than the lowest price;
  • video surveillance cameras were purchased at prices ranging from 1,682 MKD to 6,490 MKD, where the highest price for this procurement is almost three times as higher (286%) compared to the lowest price; and
  • financial audit services were charged as share ranging from 0.026% to 0.717% of the financial turnover subject of audit, where the highest service fee is 27 times higher than the lowest service fee.

This Report is available here. For more information, please contact the Centre for Civil Communications on tel. (02) 3213-513 or by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Recommendations for Easier Access of Microenterprises to Public Procurements

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The Center for Civil Communications has published the second, updated issue of the “Recommendations for Easier Access of Microenterprises to Public Procurements”.

Recommendations put forward in this document are not aimed to change the legislation; on the contrary, they aim to promote existing rules that govern public procurements which, if adequately implemented in the practice, will contribute to attainment of the overall goal: easier access of small- and microenterprises to the public procurement market and revival of local economies throughout the country.

The recommendations were first published two years ago, in February 2013.First and foremost, recommendations are drafted on the basis of insights obtained as part of regular monitoring of public procurements in the Republic of Macedonia, analysis of relevant national legislation on public procurements in Macedonia, Code of Best Practices in Opening Public Procurements for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises published by the European Commission, as well as comprehensive research of practices applied by contracting authorities and experiences of microenterprises in relation to public procurements organized in the country.

All these demonstrated insufficient participation in public procurements, especially in terms of the value of tender procedures awarded to small- and microenterprises. Presence of microenterprises on the public procurement market is low and disproportional to the total number of such enterprises, their importance and their role in the local communities, but also in the overall economy. Research studies showed that these enterprises are facing lack of information about public procurements, ignorance of relevant legislation and manner in which public procurements are implemented, insufficient trust in pubic procurements, as well as series of administrative and other barriers in the practice related to implementation of public procurements.

Having considered this problem, several years ago the European Union proposed a package of recommendations addressed to contracting authorities at EU level, including specific measures that should be taken with a view to enable easier access to public procurements for smaller enterprises. All these constituted another reason for taking specific measures aimed at easier access of microenterprises to public procurements in Macedonia, with actions targeting both sides. On one side, training session, regular information dissemination, day-to-day assistance and consultations for preparation of bids and participation in tender procedures were provided for the purpose of capacity-building for microenterprises to enter the public procurement market, while, on the other hand, addressing contracting authorities with recommendations and workshops for the purpose of reducing administrative and other barriers to greater participation of microenterprises in public procurements.

In the meantime, in 2014 the EU reformed its regulations on public procurements, in particular by complementing its Directives on Public Procurements, primarily with provisions that imply easier access of small- and microenterprises to public procurements, thereby somehow translating their previously issued recommendations into legal solutions.

In Macedonia as well, a series of thorough changes have been made to the relevant legislation on public procurements. The basic Law on Public Procurements was subject to amendments on several occasions, inter alia, with a series of provisions from recommendations put forwards with a view to enable easier access of microenterprises to public procurements. For example, those recommendations included free-of-charge publication of tender documents together with procurement notices, recommendation on avoiding requirements on bank guarantees for bids submitted in procurement procedures within the lowest value brackets and part of the recommendation on setting proportional eligibility criteria for tender participation.

In addition, monitoring the implementation of recommendations on the part of contracting authorities revealed certain improvements in regard to implementation of other recommendations (for example, setting reasonable deadlines for companies to prepare and submit their bids), but there is still room for further improvements aimed at enabling greater participation of small- and microenterprises in public procurements, following the example set by EU member-states and in compliance with indications made by microenterprises themselves.

This has imposed the need to revise previously drafted recommendations and the need to amend and update recommendations that have already become legal obligations, notably for the purpose of reaffirming enforcement of recommendations that have not been adherently implemented on the part of contracting authorities and for the purpose of complementing them with a new set of recommendations that emerged as necessary in the analysis of relevant legislation and practices related to implementation of public procurements.

Recommendations are structured in the following manner:

1. Expected results from recommendation’s implementation in the practice, both on the part of microenterprises and on the part of contracting authorities.

2. Reference to specific provisions from the relevant legislation (LPP or bylaws) that enable implementation of recommendations, i.e. confirm they are legally based.

3. Elaboration of recommendations by means of providing description of the problem, i.e. the issue addressed by the recommendation in question, manner in which the recommendation should be implemented in the practice and benefits from its implementation.

This document and recommendations contained therein are primarily addressed to contracting authorities. Nevertheless, they should be made due consideration of and should be applied also by microenterprises, as some recommendations are addressing them directly.

Recommendations have been drafted and proposed as part of USAID’s Project on Access of Microenterprises to Public Procurements, whose overall goal is to facilitate access of small- and microenterprises to the public procurement market, thus contributing to their sustainable development and better utilization of their potentials for job-creation, growth and innovations. On the other hand, the project should enable contracting authorities to attain lower prices and better quality of their respective public procurements. The project is implemented in 35 municipalities in the East, Vardar, North-East and South East regions.

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Results from the monitoring of public procurements in Macedonia

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SKOPJE, 29 April 2015 – Today, the Centre for Civil Communications published the monitoring results for public procurement procedures in Macedonia for the period July-December 2014. Key findings related to monitoring of public procurements include:

  • In the first months of its operation, the Council of Public Procurements increased the administrative burden in implementation of tender procedures, but not the competition therein. The number of bidding companies per tender procedure in the second half of 2014 is reduced, even when compared to the first half of the year.
  • In the second half of 2014, the Council of Public Procurements was addressed with as many as 5,725 applications for approval concerning implementation of tender procedures. State institutions incurred a cost of around 600,000 EUR for requesting such approvals.
  • All tender procedures from the monitoring sample applied the selection criterion defined as “lowest prices”. Low prices, which during some e-auctions result in absurdly low levels, bring under question the quality of public procurements.
  • Mandatory approval from the Council of Public Procurements for organization of negotiation procedures without prior announcement of call for bids has reduced the number of these non-transparent procurement procedures. Annual amount of procurement contracts awarded in this manner reached 56 million EUR.
  • Contracting authorities joined the appeal process in the field of public procurements. 109 from the total of 612 appeals lodged to the State Commission on Public Procurement Appeals in the course of 2014 were motioned by institutions implementing tender procedures and contest decisions taken by the Council of Public Procurements. With only 503 appeals lodged by companies in the course of 2014, the multiannual trend on reduced number of appeals motioned by companies in front of the State Commission is continuing.

This Report is available here. For more information, please contact the Centre for Civil Communications on tel. (02) 3213-513 or by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

USAID Civil Society Project is implemented by the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia (FOSM) in partnership with the Centre for Civil Communications, the Youth Educational Forum, Reactor – Research in Action, and Forum – Centre for Strategic Research and Documentation.

NOTE TO THE EDITORS:

The American people, through USAID, have invested over $500 million in Macedonia since 1993. USAID works with the people of Macedonia to create jobs, strengthen democratic institutions and practices, enhance integrated education, and prepare students for the workforce. These initiatives improve the quality of life and support Macedonia’s transition to a stable and prosperous democracy. USAID provides economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries. For more information please visit USAID Macedonia Website and USAID Macedonia Facebook page.