Promotion of integrity in public procurement

Corruption, collusion, …. words .. words …. what is relevant is the word? … the term … or action?. We are witnessing a time when there is no talk (pink press included) in which there is no talk of public procurement.

Leaving the aesthetic, the opportunist, the advertising, the partisan aside … it is time to forget aesthetic measures and change the state of things. It will not be the law that will end with a pathology common to all civilizations and signs.

Not only with the repression of the behavior can solve the problem.

As a consultant working with different Spanish and foreign administrations in the field of public procurement I have decided to highlight a serious problem that is beginning to be worrying: the suspension of the management of public procurement for fear.

In the various jobs in the area of ​​integrity in the hiring that I am carrying out I observe how the leif motiv is not, unfortunately, to generate anti-corruption tools (sadly we are not accustomed to prevent but to correct), but the necessity that before the Lack of security in the effects that for public managers have their actions in relation to corruption-public procurement are taken measures that enhance the tranquility in action with integrity as background.

We can not blame the public staff for it.

To transpose a procurement directives of just over 42 precepts the draft law appear to be necessary in Spain: 340 articles and 47 additional provisions, compared to the norms of neighboring countries like France or United Kingdom.

Full text (can not be said otherwise), regulatory, confusing, diffuse, contradictory.

A Law will come late that will not again make the problems of contracting solvable (without prejudice to many very positive concrete measures). The simplification of procurement and its procedures does not appear to be a reality.

Rather, it is pointed out that even the contracting authorities themselves will not understand how to apply the new rule … which will hardly know how to communicate to the market how to access it.

An urgent rule with processing interrupted by the processing of the law of budgets and to which in addition to the agreement of the groups of the Commission it is left to the process – a priori simpler – in the Senate.

An urgent rule whose amendment period initially ended on 14 December 2016 but which actually ended on 10 March with more than 1089 amendments.

Having said all this, and independently of valuing some of the measures proposed by the new standard (electronic contracting for any amount, the foreseeable extension of the special resource, the extension of the subjective scope … or the expected removal of the instructions of Contracting – contrary to the projected -) it is necessary to put other remedies to solve the pathologies of the contracting.

The official feels more attacked and guarded than ever and that in a field as complex and «abstract» as public procurement has such a disturbing effect that makes it necessary to highlight these notes.

In particular, I am referring to CODES OF CONDUCT and PACT OF INTEGRITY.

There are already several Spanish entities that will soon approve some of these measures.

It is a question of defining risk frameworks, of giving public managers the tools to know where the limit is and what is the ethical value that they must internalize in order to achieve the desired transparency, efficiency and competence.

Eliminate the fear in which the official is immersed in the continuous and necessary police and judicial actions in their administrations and the consequent paralysis of the processes before any eventuality.

But especially to set aside any conflict of interest. The contracting directives regulate the question in Article 24 and already impose, with direct effect, the necessary measures.

On the other hand, it is necessary a voluntary or imposed ethical commitment on the part of the bidding companies and contractors to eliminate any interference that damages transparency and eliminates any risk. It is necessary to define in each entity the role of companies in the definition of the object, in their participation in the award and performance of the contract.