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Strengthening Transparency in Public Procurement

angle-left Strengthening Transparency in Public Procurement

#14 - Strengthening Transparency in Public Procurement

The aim is to strengthen transparency in public procurement through: A. Open Contracting Data Standard adoption to publish open data on the entire public procurement cycle; B. Drastic reduction of the use of the Direct Adjustment procedure; C. Development and implementation of civic monitoring mechanisms

Government procurement is one of the most significant economic activities of governments, but also one that poses the greatest risk of corruption in the public sector. Portugal has made important progress in this area, namely with the creation of the public procurement portal (Portal BASE), with information on all contracts awarded under the Public Procurement Code (CCP) and also with the Public Works Observatory, statistical information system on public procurement. However, 92% of the population considers that there is widespread corruption in Portugal, 55% consider that civil servants who award public tenders are corrupt, and 21% believe that corruption prevented him or his company from winning a public / award of a public contract in the last 3 years (Special Eurobarometer on Corruption, OUT17). This is largely due to the mass use of the Direct Adjustment procedure (more than 80% of contracts formalized in 2017), but also to the opacity of the public contracting cycle

A. Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) is an instrument developed by the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) to ensure the transparency and quality of e-procurement systems at each stage of the public procurement cycle. Therefore, we propose: - Implement the OCDS in the BASE Portal and the Public Procurement Observatory; - Make all contracts open by default and public through their availability on the BASE Portal, to encourage fair competition and civic monitoring and to support contracting entities in making decisions on future spending and investment; - To regulate in a clear and demanding way the use of electronic platforms so that the use of electronic contracting enhances free competition and transparency of processes, adopting the recommendations and determinations of the European Commission. B. The obligation to publish and make public all the procedural parts of the contracts signed by Direct Adjustment must be complemented with: - Justification of the choice of this type of procedure in a language accessible to ordinary citizens (“Português Claro”); - Presentation of a compulsory declaration of the competing entity identifying its corporate structure, with disclosure of the effective beneficiaries under the terms of Law no. 83/2017, of August 18 (to be inserted in the BASE portal, or accessible through it); - Absolute prohibition of participation in the insolvency proceeding to the authors of any type of advisory or technical support in the formulation of the procedure, without necessity of proof of the effective benefit of that advenient;  - Typification of the behaviors that, if verified, result in the impediment of the competitors, namely applying the norms that determine impediments and suspicions in the Code of the Administrative Procedure; - To deny to the holders of the competent body the decision to contract or to participate in the jury of the bankruptcy procedure. C. Trust in public procurement involves the active participation of all stakeholders. Creating clear and useful channels for communication between governments and social groups, professionals, associations and communities affected by a specific procurement process helps to ensure that participation is translated into good government action, so we must focus on the development of tools and methodologies civic participation and monitoring (such as the Integrity Pacts developed by Transparency International and / or initiatives using open procurement data)

Transparency International Portugal

Effectiveness of Plan