Bucharest, 2016, 5th of July
On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, Transparency International Romania (TI-Ro) and the Institute for Public Policy (IPP) organized the first working meeting with regulatory and control authorities in the field of public procurement, which discussed Integrity Pact - a tool for monitoring public procurement, in order to increase transparency and efficiency in public contracting. The organizers presented the concept of Integrity Pact and responded to the questions of the participants. Ideas were also debated, and working relationships and the next steps were established to implement the Integrity Pact. Here are some of the ideas and proposals made during the meeting.
Victor Alistar, TI-Ro Executive Director: Integrity pacts allow companies to avoid bribes and non-competitive practices, and help public institutions reduce the cost of corruption. This strengthens citizens' confidence in the public procurement and auction system, improves the investment and business environment, helps identify risks and makes repairs.
Elena Tudose, IPP Director: The tension in the implementation of this instrument stems from the fact that a third actor appears in the public procurement procedure: the independent monitor; but the monitor is the novelty that increases citizens' trust in institutions and in managing public money.
Gabriel Ispas, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education: Past experience has shown us that it is very good to think of a new type of public procurement management and monitoring so that we have the certainty that we avoid the risk that public institutions will become captive through public contracting processes.We will be open to everything that means implementing the Integrity Pact.
Svetlana Gomboş, Managing Authority Managing Authority Operational Program Competitiveness: During the previous programming period, we have very high corrections, because the institutions were unable to identify the risks and irregularities.Signing the Integrity Pact means that we have support in our work as a Management Authority. It is of great help to ask for advice from civil society.
Cătălin Cornea, Public Manager Managing Authority Operational Program Competitiveness: We are making efforts not to confront the problems that have been identified in the past - that's why we need the Integrity Pact.The high volume of work during the launch of guides and project contracting increases the risk of mistakes. In the case of the Ministry of Education's project, Transparency International Romania's intervention and the Institute for Public Policy help us avoid such mistakes as we benefit from their assistance.
Ionuţ Virlan, Director Project Management Department, National Agency for Cadastre and Real Estate Advertising>: We implement the Integrity Pacts in the cadastre and regrouping project of the Regional Operational Program. We need this tool because the worst thing that can happen is that the problems in a project are only revealed to ex-post control, which leads to very large financial corrections.
Eugenia Sas, National Agency for Cadastre and Real Estate Advertising: An expectation from the Integrity Pact is to be protected from the unlawful pressures placed on public authorities in contracting procedures.
Bogdan Puşcaş, President National Agency for Public Procurement: ANAP engages in the project with all its capacity because the institution needs the Integrity Pact. I wish the Integrity Pact to turn into concrete results, and for this purpose NAPA will support the initiative.
Graţiela Gheorghe, Director Auction Offices, Competition Council: We welcome civil society initiatives to get involved in preventing public procurement fraud by concrete measures. We can regulate this area by tertiary legislation, and we will make available to the independent monitor lists of clues indicating tampering or cartel arrangements.
Silviu Popa, Secretary General National Integrity Agency: In Moron, Argentina, following the implementation of the Integrity Pact, the contract value has fallen by 35%. It is a very powerful example. The Independent Monitor may have a direct line with ANI to seek advice when conflicts of interest or other situations of NII competence arise.
Gheorghe Oana, Vice-President Audit Authority, Court of Accounts of Romania: Integrity pacts are a welcome tool, being an ex-ante intervention before the work of the Audit Authority, which greatly reduces the risk of irregularities, waste of money, fraud.
Silviu Cristian Popa, President National Council for Solving Complaints: From the contestations we receive, we observe the lack of trust of citizens in this system. Integrity Pacts address this issue: increase citizens' confidence in public procurement through community involvement. Contracting authorities piloting the instrument will benefit from a reliable transfer. These authorities will enjoy some of the confidence that TI-Ro and IPP enjoy. We wish you success and stay with you!
Andrei Furdui, Deputy Director of Crime Prevention Directorate, Ministry of Justice: The National Anticorruption Strategy supports mechanisms such as Integrity Pact. Integrity paces are very well grafted on what SNA proposes. Monitoring activity should start as early as possible! Iulia Coşpănaru, Deputy Director TI-Ro: We are glad that we have succeeded in meeting the objective set for this meeting, namely to have the support of authorities responsible for regulating and verifying public procurement in implementing the Integrity Pact.
Iulia Coşpănaru, Deputy Director TI-Ro: We are glad that we have succeeded in meeting the objective set for this meeting, namely to have the support of authorities responsible for regulating and verifying public procurement in implementing the Integrity Pact.
Adrian Moraru, Deputy Director of IPP: In the preparation of procurement and projects, the consultation process involves not only firms and bidders, but also affected communities, trade unions, civil society, people directly concerned by the project. Consultation is to look at prices and solutions, but also to consider the possibility that projects will be redundant in order to avoid problems occurring in later phases. The role of Integrity Pact is to bring together people who have an interest in the project or in that acquisition. Integrity pacts are implemented in 11 EU countries in a project funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Transparency International. Under the umbrella of this project, Transparency International Romania and the Institute for Public Policy implement two Integrity Pacts together with: National Agency for Cadastre and Real Estate Advertising, in the cadastre and tabulation project financed under the Regional Operational Program The Managing Authority of the Competitiveness Operational Program and the Ministry of Education, in the project for the creation of the electronic catalog at national level, financed through the Operational Program Competitiveness.