Authorities have submitted to the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, the first draft of a strategy and action plan on public acquisitions last month, which will be linked to the next 7-year programming period for EU funds that runs through to 2020.
Bogdan Dobrin, president National Authority for the Regulation and Monitoring of public acquisitions (ANRMAP), said Thursday that the draft strategy was drawn up with support from the Ministry of EU funds and the National Council for Solving Complaints (CNSC).
“Romania needs this strategy, so as to create avenues for the development and improvement of the public acquisition services in Romania and together with the Romanian side and with specialists from the EC, we will develop this strategy and approve it this year in the shortest time after we make all adjustments,” said Dobrin during a conference organized by law firm Ceparu&Irimia.
The three new EU directives regarding public acquisitions have been enforced in mid-April and will have to be transposed by all EU member states into national legislation in the next two years. They regulate public contracts, utilities and concessions.
According to Paola Zanetti, deputy head of the Unit C3 at DG Internal Market and Services, the new directives simplify the procedures and offers more business opportunities for SMEs.
Gabriel Onaca, state secretary within the Ministry of EU funds, suggested that authorities should work to transpose the directives earlier than 2016, adding that the current framework also needs further clarifications. He commented that the current system has also hampered the absorption of EU funds, although this rate has gone up in the past two years.
For Sorin Oprescu, the mayor of Bucharest, the new public acquisitions legislation should be changed so as to make it more elastic and transparent. The Bucharest city hall is the biggest public body in Romania doing public acquisitions.
He outlined one of the irregularities in the current legislation: “We had started a multiannual tender for marking the streets and it lasted almost two years, due to numerous appeals. 16 deadly accidents happened in Bucharest, and the city hall is paying for damages even now – most of them (e.n. the victims) were children.
“I was not allowed to mark the street because I was in appeal,” added Oprescu.