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Public procurement projects are related to party affairs in Lithuania

Head of Public Procurement Office, Zydrunas Plytnikas, says that there are many issues in public procurement not harmonised by legislation, at odds with logic and common sense. One of them being responsibility for implementation of a project, informs LETA/ELTA.


According to Plytnikas, if a supervision body finds violations, funding may be reduced but the transgressors continue to work. "A person who implements a project inadequately is not held liable. If personal liability applied then procurement would take a different path. There is institutional responsibility, but people continue working... Stealing perhaps," Plytnikas told the radio stationLaisvoji Banga.


In 2013, violations were found in 39 of 44 examined agreements.


According to the head, public procurement specialists are highly appreciated and well-paid, thus the office finds it hard to retain qualified personnel.


"How many people are dealing with decisions? In public procurement at most 100 who deal with everything. And they know each other. The biggest problem is they are all closely related to each other. (...)," the head of the Public Procurement Office contemplated.


Plytnikas is of the opinion that public procurement projects are connected to "party matters". "Let's have a look who is making decisions. Where do all these projects go? They go to the highest political structures," he said.

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Public procurement needs more transparency - Lithuania

VILNIUS - Public procurement should be truly public. Rasa Svetikaite, advisor to President Dalia Grybauskaite, says that the amendments to the Law on Public Procurement reduce transparency and create conditions for unfair competition, reports ELTA. As a result, the amendments were returned to the Seimas for consideration.

“The major issue is related to public access to the information in public procurement. It especially regards the procurement of low value projects. The president is not proposing to reject the law, but to adopt small amendments that are really significant,” said Svetikaite on radio Ziniu Radijas on Oct. 15.

The amendments to the Law on Public Procurement were proposed by the Ministry of Economy. The amendments provide that the threshold for procurement of low value items should be increased from 100,000 litas (29,000 euros) to 200,000 litas.

ITMatchPoint's curator insight, October 19, 2013 3:01 PM

 Http:// Global IT procurement Services


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Public Procurement reform will lead to more efficient, simple and flexible procedures | Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013

Public Procurement reform will lead to more efficient, simple and flexible procedures | Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013 | Public Procurement - Europe |

Today Lithuanian Presidency secured support of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) for the final compromise text of the Public Procurement reform package, negotiated by the Council and the European Parliament.


Ambassador Arūnas Vinčiūnas, Chairman of the Permanent Representatives Committee, received the mandate and signed the letter on behalf of the Council with the compromise text attached, which will be sent to the IMCO Committee, informing that this text is acceptable to the Council and proposing that an agreement in first reading could be reached. 
This legislation is part of a Single Market Act I, and has a significant potential for enhancing growth, innovation and job creation while supporting the most efficient use of public funds.
The Package consists of three legislative proposals - Directive on public procurement (Classical directive), Directive on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (Utilities Directive) and Directive on award of concession contracts (Concessions Directive).
The Directives aim at:

Creating a modern public procurement legislative framework and ensuring greater efficiency of public procurement;Simplification and flexibilisation of rules;Reducing the administrative burden on public authorities and potential contractors;Facilitating Small and Medium Enterprises' participation;Stimulating of greater competition across the Single Market;Switching to electronic procurement;Promoting innovation and contributing to a better use of resources.

It is the first time that a Directive on Concessions has been developed as a separate legal instrument regulating the award of concessions. 
The Chairman of the Committee of Permanent Representatives ambassador Arūnas Vinčiūnas thanked the previous Danish, Cypriot and Irish Presidencies for their substantial work on the Public Procurement Reform package. The Irish Presidency negotiated the package with the European Parliament and reached a provisional agreement that required significant compromise on the part of all three institutions.

The process of adoption of the Public Procurement reform package will be finalized after European Parliament votes on it, and after the Council formally adopts it. 
This is important package for fostering economic growth of the EU: the World Bank estimates that e-procurement can trigger savings of 6 to 13.5% of the total public procurement expenditure.

Public authorities in EU spend 18% of EU GDP, worth 420 billion euros in total. Therefore the agreement will significantly contribute to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy to ensure the optimal use of funds in order foster growth and job creation.

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ICT 2013 - Create, Connect, Grow, in Vilnius on 6-8 November, 2013 | Decipher

More than 4000 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry representatives, young people and politicians will get together in Vilnius. The event will focus on Horizon 2020 - the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

DECIPHER PCP project and its goals will be advertised and explained on stand 5D9. Interested parties are most welcome to join us for discussions.

Register and see more information on the ICT2013 event website.

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Overlooking oversight: Lithuania’s EU Presidency is high in No-Bid contracts

Overlooking oversight: Lithuania’s EU Presidency is high in No-Bid contracts | Public Procurement - Europe |


VILNIUS - A month into the presidency of the Council of the European Union, Lithuania is awash in public tenders, for everything from engraving ballpoint pens to providing logistics for thousands of expected guests. However, slightly over 60 percent of them are unannounced tender contracts or no-bid contracts, funneled to a select group of well-connected companies, according to an analysis of public tenders by 100Reporters and this The Baltic Times correspondent.

The number of no-bid contracts and single-bidder contracts is expected to rise, as the ruling Social Democratic coalition moves to speed up the awarding of contracts surrounding the EU Council Presidency by streamlining procurement rules.
Public tenders awarded without bidding, or reserved for a single company, can be a sign that connections, not public interest, are at play in the awarding of government contracts. Lawmakers and anti-corruption watchdogs fear that the EU Presidency will be a Trojan horse for looming large-scale corruption in Lithuania that may endure long after the country’s stint as president ends. The risk is aggravated by lax oversight of funds budgeted for the rotating council presidency.

With a considerable part of the $85 million in EU-presidency related spending still to be awarded, “the battle for the money will only intensify,” said Agne Bilotaite, a lawmaker and member of the parliament’s Anti-Corruption Commission.
In addition to the spate of no-bid contracts, transparency advocates say there have been other red flags. Litexpo, a company that had won a major catering contract, suddenly gave it up. The contract then went to a firm with close ties to government officials. And the government has concentrated all EU-related events in the capital, shutting out second-tier cities like Kaunas in central Lithuania.

Much is at stake for Lithuania, the first Baltic State to have been granted the right to host the EU Presidency. Its leadership will increase Lithuania’s visibility on the continent, boost national pride and, importantly, the economy, pumping over $85 million into the local economy, one with 13.1 percent unemployment and one of the highest rates of emigration in the EU.
Lithuania’s six-month commitment for the 28-member state European Union - the biggest confederation with the second-largest economy in the world in 2012 - will serve as a unique opportunity to draw the EU’s attention to the small Baltic country’s most important issues: energy security, relations with Russia, control of the EU’s outer borders, cooperation in the larger Baltic Sea region and cyber security.

But transparency advocates say its turn at the Presidency risks throwing Lithuania back to the early 1990s, when rampant corruption gripped the state.
According to an analysis by 100Reporters, of some 46 public contracts for work connected to Lithuania’s Presidency of the EU, 20 of them, or 43.3 percent, were handed to companies through unannounced tenders. i.e to without bidding. In comparison, of all 13,258 national public tenders in Lithuania during the same period, 2,317, or a little bit less than 16 percent, were unannounced tender contracts.

Another 10 contracts for work tied to Lithuania’s EU Presidency, or 21 percent, were let through simplified bidding procedures, raising the risk of corruption. In comparison, 3,538 national public tenders, or 29 percent, involved only single bidder tenders during the same period.

Naglis Puteikis, a Conservative member of parliament, said he was not surprised by the findings. “It’s common knowledge that no-bid tenders, or limited ones, increase steeply the possibility of corruption and getting kickbacks,” Puteikis said. “But who cares when, after greasing the right person’s palm, you get a luscious contract?”

Valentinas Mazuronis, Minister of the Environment, said the spate of no-bid contracts were not a sign of corruption, but of the need for speed. “I don’t care as much about the form of the tenders as about having a successful Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” Mazuronis said. “Why doesn’t anyone contemplate what would have happened if, with the dozens of tenders to be organized in a short time, we’d have got backlogged, perhaps putting the Presidency in jeopardy?”

Mazuronis had proposed streamlining the bidding process, and said he still supported limiting competition for public tenders. “The simpler procedures will make the whole process easier and more effective,” Mazuronis said. “And, I am sure, transparency won’t suffer.”

If corruption does contaminate contract awards, the EU is unlikely to find out on its own. The EU exercises virtually no oversight of funds that go for the rotating Presidency. Rather, member states that hold the Presidency are expected to use national institutions to exercise oversight.
Speaking in general of EU funding use in the country, Bilotaite said the lack of independent oversight by the EU leads to a disregard for overspending at the national level: “C’mon, it is European money,” she quoted fellow lawmakers as saying. “Don’t worry too much about it.”

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Lithuanian MP asks to stop the signing of public procurement contracts by environment minister

Lithuanian MP asks to stop the signing of public procurement contracts by environment minister | Public Procurement - Europe |

Lithuanian MP Valentinas Mazuronis has asked the head of the Public Procurement Office Zydrunas Plytnikas, g to immediately suspend signing of public procurement contracts by the Ministry of Environment before the new government is confirmed.


"Disproportionally numerous and hasty signing of contracts at the Ministry of Environment and other ministries at the time when the Government is about to change raises serious suspicions that the outgoing Government is trying to take every piece of ministerial funds," said MP Mazuronis, a candidate to assume the post of the minister of environment, reports LETA/ELTA.

The politician thinks that the situation signals reckless money spending.

"Since I do not expect a decent behaviour from the outgoing Government I am forced to apply to the Public Procurement Office as the current government's behaviour cannot be justified and must be stopped immediately," he said.

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