The Croatian Employers Association (HUP) said on Friday that it advocated public procurement based on the economically most favourable offer instead of the currently prevalent lowest price criterion.
HUP noted that a new public procurement bill was in the final stage and that HUP had involved counties, cities and municipalities in its drafting. It warned that public procurement favouring the lowest price incited abuse and corruption and that, instead, it must be based on the economically most favourable offer, good control mechanisms and greater transparency.
HUP said that in Croatia selection based on the most economically favourable offer accounted for only 0.95 percent of public procurement contracts, as against 80% elsewhere in the European Union.
HUP said the current public procurement system was a substantial generator of insolvency as it included health care, where payment deadlines exceed 300 days.
Public procurement in Croatia amounts to HRK 42 billion annually, or 12% of GDP, involving some 1,700 clients and 5,000 bidders who sign about 22,000 contracts annually, HUP said.
It is estimated that up to 20% of public procurement procedures in Croatia are insufficiently transparent, which means that up to HRK 8 billion of public money annually is spent in an insufficiently transparent manner, HUP said.
(EUR 1 = HRK 7.6)