BAIT DEMANDS A NEW TENDER FOR MR. VELCHEV'S COMPUTERS
Tenders under the Public Procurement Act should be held in a new manner, the Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (BAIT) claims. The organisation, including 152 domestic companies, insists that criteria for the tender procedure in each branch should be set. It is extremely necessary to specify how the law would be applied in the sphere of information technologies, BAIT points out. Presently, quite a lot of the elements of the competition or tender procedure are interpreted on the spot, at that for each individual case. This causes preconditions for irregularities, BAIT's Chairman Vassil Vassilev explained to the BANKER weekly. According to him, the most important thing is to set unified criteria both for the pre-qualification requirements to firms and for the rating of filed offers.The most recent example of violations is the tender for supply of computer and copying equipment, invited by the Finance Minister. The procedure was opened in April 2003. Experts from BAIT actively participated in the preparation of the necessary documentation. A little later, however, the ministry changed some of the requirements to the candidates without notifying BAIT. Under the initially stipulated requirements, the candidates had to possess at least five offices within the country and be authorized by the respective producers to service the equipment. But the firm which was ranked first did not meet any of the above-mentioned requirements, BAIT claims. The Finance Minister Milen Velchev, the Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and the Minister of State Administration Dimiter Kalchev were notified in written about these violations back on August 18. However, no reply has been received so far, Mr. Vassilev said.
Meanwhile, in the end of last week the MPs approved at first hearing amendments to the Public Procurement Act. Under the new provisions, the threshhold for applying the legislative act has been raised 3-fold. It goes up from BGN600,000 to BGN1.8MN in the construction sector, from BGN50,000 to BGN150,000 for deliveries, and from BGN30,000 to BGN90,000 in the sphere of services. The draft amendements stipulate also the establishment of an executive agency for public procurement. The new institutions will be controling the exact fulfullment of procedures.