BIRN Kosovo Publishes Municipal Procurement Report

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BIRN Kosovo, with the support of USAID, published a report on Thursday about procurement procedures in Kosovo’s municipalities from October 2017 to October 2018.

The publication analyses procurement procedures involving key actors from Kosovo institutions including government officials, Kosovo Assembly members and non-governmental organisations.

BIRN discovered that only a limited number of complaints about procurements were resolved in favour of businesses that appealed, with most decisions going in favour of the municipalities. Municipalities did not change their decisions despite demands from businesses to review their decisions, the report found.

Of a total of 272 demands for review, only 15 per cent of the complaints were decided in favour of economic operators – 41 in total – while 85 per cent, or 231 of the reviewed complaints, were decided in favour of the contracting authorities.

Kreshnik Gashi, the managing editor of BIRN Kosovo, said that BIRN has been working for several years to identify problems with public procurement procedures.

“We have monitored what we call the ‘holes in procurement’ which steal from the state’s budget. We have identified many of them and fortunately many of these gaps have been filled,” Gashi said.

The proper functioning of electronic procurement implementation and the publication of related contracts were among the positive developments recorded in 2018, which have helped to increase transparency in institutional procurement procedures.

Christina Davies, the director of USAID for Democracy and Governance, said that Kosovo has tried to improve the situation, but challenges remain.

“Kosovo has made efforts to increase transparency. However, corruption remains an obstacle for the future,” Davies said.

With the new report, BIRN Kosovo concluded its project on procurement and violations in procurement which was supported by USAID.