Annex B: BLI 2008 Result Table with Consolidated Assessors' Qualitative Comments Pillar/ Indicator/ Sub-Indicators Score PILLAR I – THE LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK Scope of application and coverage of Indicator 1 – Public procurement legislative and regulatory framework achieves the agreed 1a the legislative and regulatory 2.51 framework 1b Procurement Methods 2.29 standards and complies with applicable obligations 1c Advertising rules and time limits 2.22 1d Rules on participation 2.02 Tender documentation and technical 1e 2.24 specifications 1f Tender evaluation and award criteria 2.42 Submission, receipt and opening of 1g 2.36 tenders 1h Complaints 2.40 Indicator 2 – Existence of Implementing Regulations Implementing regulation that provides 2a defined processes and procedures not 2.11 included in higher level legislation Model tender documents for goods, 2b 2.42 works and services and Documentation 2c Procedures for pre-qualification 2.65 Procedures suitable for contracting for 2d services or other requirements in 2.13 which technical capacity is a key User’s guide or manual for contracting 2e 1.18 entities General Conditions of Contract (GCC) for public sector contracts covering 2f goods, works and services consistent 2.24 with national requirement and, when applicable, international requirements PILLAR II – INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK AND MANAGEMENT CAPACITY mainstreamed and well integrated into the public sector Procurement planning and data on Indicator 3 – The public procurement system is costing are part of the budget 3a 1.95 formulation process and contribute to multiyear planning governance system Budget law and financial procedures 3b support timely procurement, contract 1.55 execution and payment Procurement actions are not initiated 3c until budget appropriations have been 1.82 made egrated into the public sector nce system c procurement system is Systematic preparation and completion of reports for certification of budget 3d 1.25 execution and for reconciliation of delivery with budget programming The status and basis for the normative/regulatory body is covered 4a 2.40 in the legislative and regulatory framework Indicator 4 – The country has a functional normative/ regulatory body The normative/regulatory body has a defined set of responsibilities that do not overlap with other agencies, and these responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: providing advice to contracting entities, drafting amendments to the legislative and regulatory framework and implementing regulations, monitoring public procurement, providing 4b 2.35 procurement information, managing statistical databases, reporting on procurement to other parts of government, developing and supporting implementation of initiatives for improvements of the public procurement system and providing implementation tools and documents to support training and capacity development of implementing staff. The normative/regulatory body’s organization, funding, staffing, and level of independence and authority 4c 2.13 (formal power) to exercise its duties should be sufficient and consistent with the responsibilities The responsibilities should also provide for separation and clarity so as 4d to avoid conflict of interest and direct 2.40 involvement in the execution of procurement transactions The country has a system for Indicator 5 – The country has collecting and disseminating procurement information, including 5a 2.51 tender invitations, requests for proposals, and contract award information capa Indicator 5 – The country has institutional development The country has systems and procedures for collecting and 5b 1.55 monitoring national procurement statistics capacity The country has a sustainable strategy to provide training, advice and assistance to develop the capacity of 5c government and private sector 1.89 participants to understand the rules and regulations and how they should be implemented Quality control standards are disseminated and used to evaluate 5d 1.40 staff performance and address capacity development issues PILLAR III – PROCUREMENT OPERATIONS AND MARKET PERFORMANCE The level of procurement competence Indicator 6 – The country’s procurement operations and among government officials within the 6a 2.04 entity is consistent with their procurement responsibilities The procurement training and information programs for government 6b 2.13 practices are efficient officials and for private sector participants are consistent with demand There are established norms for the safekeeping of records and documents 6c 1.73 related to transactions and contract manage There are provisions for delegating 6d authority to others who have the 2.64 capacity to exercise responsibilities There are effective mechanisms for Indicator 7 – Functionalit 7a partnerships between the public and 1.42 private sector procurement m Indicator 7 – Functionality of the public procurement market Private sector institutions are well 7b organized and able to facilitate access 2.22 to the market There are no major systemic constraints (e.g., inadequate access to 7c credit, contracting practices, etc.) 2.55 inhibiting the private sector’s capacity to access the procurement market Procedures are clearly defined for administration and dispute resolution undertaking contract administration Indicator 8 – Existence of contract responsibilities that include inspection 8a and acceptance procedures, quality 1.76 control procedures, and methods to review and issue contract amendments in a timely manner provisions Contracts include dispute resolution procedures that provide for an efficient 8b and fair process to resolve disputes 1.51 arising during the performance of the contract Procedures exist to enforce the 8c outcome of the dispute resolution 1.60 process PILLAR IV – INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY OF THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT SYSTEM Indicator 9 – The country has effective control and A legal framework, organization, policy, and procedures for internal and 9a external control and audit of public 1.53 procurement operations are in place to provide a functioning control framework Enforcement and follow-up on findings and recommendations of the control 9b 1.76 systems framework provide for an environment that fosters compliance – The country has effective control and audit systems The internal control system provides 9c timely information on compliance to 1.91 enable management action The internal control systems are 9d sufficiently defined to allow 1.45 performance audits to be conducted Auditors are sufficiently informed about procurement requirements and control 9e 1.58 systems to conduct quality audits that contribute to compliance Decisions are deliberated on the basis of available information, and the final Indicator 10 – Efficiency of appeals mechanism 10a decision can be reviewed and ruled 2.40 upon by a body (or authority) with enforcement capacity under the law The complaint review system has the capacity to handle complaints 10b 2.33 efficiently and a means to enforce the remedy imposed The system operates in a fair manner, with outcomes of decisions balanced 10c 2.16 and justified on the basis of available information Decisions are published and made 10d available to all interested parties and 1.65 to the public The system ensures that the complaint review body has full authority and 10e 1.78 independence for resolution of complaints Indicator 11 Information is published and – Degree of distributed through available media, 11a 2.47 access to with support from information information technology when feasible The legal and regulatory framework for procurement, including tender and contract documents, includes provisions addressing corruption, 12a fraud, conflict of interest, and unethical 2.02 behavior, and sets out (either directly or by reference to other laws) the Indicator 12 – The country has ethics and anti-corruption measures in place actions that can be taken with regard to such behavior The legal system defines responsibilities, accountabilities and 12b penalties, for individuals and firms 2.35 found to have engaged in fraudulent or corrupt practices Evidence of enforcement of rulings 12c 2.02 and penalties exists Special measures exist to prevent and 12d detect fraud and corruption in public 2.22 procurement Stakeholders (private sector, civil society, and ultimate beneficiaries of procurement/end-users) support the 12e 1.76 creation of a procurement market known for its integrity and ethical behaviors The country should have in place a secure mechanism for reporting 12f 1.84 fraudulent, corrupt or unethical behavior Existence of Codes of Conduct/Codes of Ethics for participants that are involved in aspects of the public 12g 1.95 financial management systems, that also provide for disclosure for those in decision making positions Total Score 109.13 Rating of the Vietnam procurement system and C- ranked level of the PD Indicator 2b 67% ble with Consolidated Assessors' Qualitative Comments Assessor’s Comments RAMEWORK The Law on Procurement provides for fundamental provisions of a good public procurement system and adequately covers all areas of procurement having high-level legal status as passed by the National Assembly. The Implementing Decree No. 111/2006/ND-CP guiding the implementation of the Law and the GoV recently developed and issued a number of guiding implementation (GI) documents including SBDs, contract forms… Preferred mode is open bidding and the Law has provision for International bidding (the law respects international treaties/agreements on the matter). The thresholds for Direct Appointment in Art. 20 (dd) are quite high, particularly for consulting services (roughly US$31,250) and for goods and works in investment development projects (roughly US$62,500). The threshold for shopping is also high under Art. 22 (roughly US$125T), vis-à-vis the thresholds normally set by donor institutions. Although the Law prohibits the break down procurement into small packages, there is needs of detailed regulatory guidance in order not to lessen the impact of open bidding as the preferred mode under the law. Publication is done on the procurement newspaper (upgraded from the DMPP special bulletin in December 2007), on the procurement website and some other national newspaper. Currently, bidding opportunities announcements do not contain detailed information for potential bidders to identify their readiniess to participate in. There are only few procurement-related information published in English - no English version on procurement newspaper and procurement website. MPI/DMPP has recently issued guidelines on publishing procurement information (MPI Decision 12/BKH-QLDT). A number of Vietnam's procurement experts think that the time limits for buying bidding documents and bid submission are rather long, leading to delays in project implementation. It is necessary to discuss on harmonizing the time limits for EOI, pre-qualification, bid / proposal preparation provided by the Law and Decree and those normally set by donor institutions. Under Art. 29 of the Law on Proc., although “pass/fail” criteria is provided, this is merely discretionary and an agency may still opt to use the Merit Point System. Registration does not seem to be an issue affecting competition. Art. 11 of the Law on Proc. requires that a bidder shall be institutionally, financially independent, and not subject to the same managing body as the Investment Owner. However, although SOEs appear financially, managerially and legally independent, they are still within the domain of the implementing agency. This means that while the rules on SOE participation have improved, much effort is still needed to level the playing field in actual practice. The Law prohibits the specification of brands or origins of goods in bidding documents, but still more detailed guidelines be developed. There is no provision requiring the agency to specify, as far as possible, internationally accepted standards such as those issued by the International Standards Organization. Agencies are allowed to exercise discretion on the choice of “pass/fail” criteria or the Merit Point System (Art. 29, Law on Proc.). DMPP is currently developing criteria for bid evaluation. There are no clear requirements under the Law on Proc. to keep records of bid opening proceedings. There is, however, a requirement for a bidder selection report. The regulation that "only bids from bidders in the list of those bought bidding documents shall be opened" can lessen the competitiveness of open bidding while "opening of bids in open bidding requires more than 3 bids" could cause considerable delays and need more detailed implementing guidelines. There exists a Consulting Council on Complaint Settlement, but its function is merely consultative to the Competent Person. (Art. 72, Law on Proc.). Implementing rules and regulations were issued as Decree 111 on September 2006 and continuously revised in new Decree, which aims at providing detailed interpretations and addressing the gaps, inconsistencies between existing regulations. There are still a number of inconsistencies observed in related legal documents such as: contract type, concepts of appropriate prices, costs… in the Law of Construction and its implementing decrees. In 2007, GoV had issued: Standard Bidding Document for Goods (Decision 251/2007/QD-BKH dated on 22/5/2007), Bidding Evaluation Document of Goods and Civil Works (Decision 1102/2007/QĐ-BKH dated on 18/9/2007), Pre-qualification Bidding Document for Civil Works (Decision 1591/2007/QD- BKH dated on 24/12/2007), Standard Bidding Document for Consulting Service (Decision 1583/2007/QĐ-BKH dated on 24/12/2007). More SBDs are being developed and will be provided through official documentation as well as through MPI procurement website. Law and Decree have provision for selecting consultants and packages of high-technical requirements. Guiding Implementation documents (SBD for consulting service) also provide for procedures and evaluation methods specifically for each cases. The Law on Proc. contains no provision on the development of procurement manuals. Besides GI documents, DMPP has issued book on "procurement typical cases", the next version is being drafted toward a Generic Procurement Manual should be developed. Arts. 49 and 53 of the Law on Proc. make references to the Form Contract. Currently, GCC is listed in the Standard Bidding Documents, project owners implement the contract following the type defined by the Approval Decision of the bid results and consult a number of documentation on GCC. Construction contracts apply the Circular 02/2005/TT-BXD dated 25/02/2005 and newly issued Circular 06/2007/TT-BXD dated 25/7/2007. DMPP is developing GCC into the new Decree (replacing previous Decree 111). It is recommended to develop guidance in applying lump-sum contract form as appropriate for the currently inflation situation. NAGEMENT CAPACITY Budget allocations for agencies are based on a 5-year Master Plan. Moreover, under Arts. 10 and 11 of the Decree, the Investment Owner is required to submit the procurement plan to the relevant appraisal organization or body for appraisal and approval (this can involve submission to the Prime Minister). This implies a system of check and balance to ensure that procurement plans are consistent with the multiyear plan. In reality, there is no close link between overall procurement plan and budget allocation plan in medium and long period (3 - 5 years). There is no directl link between udgeting and spending, between an agency’s budget estimates and its actual disbursements during that year, which often lead to overspending and long periods of time for payment to contractors. More discipline may be required on the part of implementing agencies, and the Annual Procurement Plan would go a long way in fostering this discipline. Defining the available funds as basis for approval of procurement plan should based on the annual budget allocation.. There appears to be no problem on the commitment and appropriation of budget funds. This may be due to the fact that project procurement plans are subject to appraisal and approval prior to undertaking the bidding process. However, delays in payment are reported to be common, as progress payments may take 30 to 60 days. It has also been reported that final account for works normally suffers much more serious delay mainly due to cumbersome procedures. It was further reported that these financial practices have created a preference for companies, such as SOEs or well established private companies, who have the resources to pre-finance contracts in the medium term. Although the Law on Proc. has no provision on the requirement of a Certificate of Availability of Funds, the control feature that this requirement seeks to establish exists by virtue of the appraisal requirement in Art. 6). No procurement may be undertaken without the approval of the procurement plan and the appraisal report and there is a penalty for overspending agencies (Art. 12 of the Law on Proc.). Currently, provinces started to impose more expenditure discipline when approve procurement plan on basis of annual budget allocation. All agencies are required to submit information on their procurements for the previous year to the DMPP, by March of the succeeding year. The DMPP is then able to process these data and issue the consolidated procurement report within 1 month. However, not all procuring entities are able to fully comply with this submission requirement and the information submitted is incomplete, lack of details such as the completion rate of projects. Recently, regular procurement reporting is improving significantly and DMPP is putting efforts on building an information system of contracts linking budget estimates, awards, releases with contract performance – eventually leading to a stronger public financial management system. The MPI/DMPP is tasked with the responsibility for setting procurement policy, overseeing the establishment of effective procurement practices, and settling procurement complaints within the scope of its jurisdiction. However, there are overlapping and inconsistencies in procurement regulations between DMPP with MOC and MOF - there are a number of procurement regulations defined by MOC or recommended by MOC to the Prime Minister.. DMPP is the GoV functional normative/regulatory body with clear responsibilitites on procurement. However, in the current transitional period, there is lacking close link with other related functional bodies such as MOF and MOC. There are a few conflicting points in the Law on Proc. Art. 57 Section 1a and Art 1 Section 8 (Decree 111/2006/NĐ-CP) with Section IV B, Part II of the MOF Circular 27/2007/TT-BTC dated 03/4/2007 on contract price adjustment. There are parallel guiding documents from DMPP and MOC such as "guiding on adjusting the bidding price (Section - MOC Circular 09/2008/TT-BXD)" or overlaps in functional procurement management in MOC responsibilities to "đ) Guide, inspect the selection of bidders in construction bidding following the Law on Construction and related procurement regulations (Decree 17/2008/NĐ-CP dated 04/2/2008)". The information submission and procurement records management are still rather inadequate and inconsistentt. DMPP/MPI is sufficiently located at a high level, has functional power regulated in the legislative framework. There are, however, limited resources in funding and staff in order to cover all responsibilities provided by GoV such as develop procurement legal documents, oversight and inspection of actual procurement activities and performance, procurement professional training.... The Procurement Helpdesk is in operation but it needs to be institutionalized with sufficient resources in order to be of effective support. National procurement newspaper stated in December 2007 (upgraded from the Bulletin on Public Procurement managed by the MPI/DPP.The Law requires advertising procurement opportunities and other procurement related information including relevant legislation, award results, list of debarred bidders and related sanctions. This is a commendable effort by DMPP, however, it is only currently available in Vietnamese (on both newspaper and website). There is a system to collect data on both locally funded and ODA procurement, but although the data is routinely analyzed and submitted as a report to the Prime Minister, it would need further development to generate information on specific procurement concerns, like unit prices for common types of goods/services, levels of participation, and duration of specific stages of the procurement cycle. The data would also have to be verified through audits. The analysis and use of collected procurement statistical data should be emphasized as the background information for regular oversight and inspection activities. DMPP is currently implementing the Public Procurement Training Project funded by LMDG. The programme is conducting numerous certified training courses nationwide on legal frameworks, procurement procedures, curriculum development and training of trainers would still have to be developed. However, the training demand is huge (also in specific steps in procurement cycle such as preparing bidding documents evaluating bids...) requiring further efforts to spread-out this programme. Also it takes time to assess the relevance and effectiveness of those training programmes. DMPP has a procurement helpdesk responding to queries and issues in actual practice. The experience in implementing Law and procurement practice has improve the knowledge and skills of government staff toward international standards. There is still a shortage of qualified procurement staff, and there is no criteria and procedure to assess the performance of procurement staff. The actions by procuring entities are subject to review by higher level agencies, audits are not regularly conducted, and are usually performed only when there is a major complaint against procuring entities. It is necessary to strengthen the capacity for procuring entities in oversighting the implementation of contracts. RKET PERFORMANCE Art. 9 and Ch. IV of the Law on Proc. contain provisions on the rights and duties of the procuring entity and a Procurement Specialist Team, and there are conditions for membership in the Procurement Specialist Team. However, at the present a number of procurement staff are appointed on ad hoc basis to serve a project or a particular procurement, and this is yet supported by systematic training on procurement. Recent efforts by GoV in capacity building should be emphasized further toward proffesionalization of procurement in Vietnam and the real effect is yet to be seen. DMPP is developing information system and regularly disseminating through procurement website in support of procurement practice of government officials and public - it takes time to see the positive impacts of those efforts. The comprehensive procurement capacity building program includes regular short training courses for both public and private sectors. Art. 39 of the Law on Proc. provides for a report on the bidder selection results to be submitted to the Competent Person and the appraisal body/organization. Ch. IV of the same law also provides for the duty to preserve the confidentiality of procurement-related documents by the Investment Owner, Procuring Entity, Procurement Specialist Team and the Appraisal Body. There is a general Archiving Ordinance where agencies are required to keep records for 5 years. However, there have to be provisions that clearly specify what these procurement documents/records are, the responsible office where these shall be kept (project owners), the length of time for record-keeping, accountabilities, and which of these are available for public inspection. The Law on Proc. and related laws provide for delegated authority and appropriate accountabilities for decision-making. However, it is reported that major contracts are subject to a lengthy and cumbersome approval process. This may be due to the appraisal system. Although Art. 31 of the Law on Proc. provides for a maximum appraisal duration of 20 days (30 days for the Prime Minister), this procedure occurs 3 times during a bidding – procurement plan, bidding documents and bidder selection result – and so the period can actually run to a total of 60 days in a single bidding activity (90 days for the Prime Minister). In addition, there are conflicting regulations at sub-national level (such as between provincial planning and finance offices) limit the decision- making of procuring entities and cause delays in procurement. Recently, GoV started to increase dialogue with private sector through Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Private sector is encouraged to participate in workshops, trainings, seminars. The Competition Law effective from July 2005 has created basis for improvement of competitive environment. The private sector has equal access to procurement opportunities as public sector. Howvere, it is reported that SOEs are holding advantages over private companies in large procurement. There appear to be 2 perennial problems that hinder the development of a competitive private sector. First, delays in payment create a preference for SOEs and large companies that are able to pre-finance contracts. This restricts the ability of small and medium-sized private companies to compete for state contracts. Second, the dependant nature of SOEs and the procuring entity. Although a new SOE Law took effect on July 1, 2004, allowing the creation by SOEs of market-based commercial entities operating under the Enterprise Law, there still observed strong evidence of preferential treatment for the SOE sector. The Law on Proc. already has a provision in Art. 11 that bidders participating in biddings for procurement packages shall be institutionally, financially independent and not subject to the same management as the Investment Owner. This appears to prohibit the type of conflict of interest indicated above. The 2 above-mentioned factors still appear to inhibit private sector access to the public procurement market. As such, although bid, performance and advance payment securities can be easily obtained locally, and the requirements for securities and other bidding requirements appear to be reasonable, increased competition from the private sector still has to be realized. In time, it is hoped that the new Law on Proc. will help improve this area of concern. The Law on Proc. has provisions on adjustments to contract and supervision of performance, acceptance and close-out of contract (Art. 57 and 59). DMPP is developing model contracts forms with quality control procedures appropriately incorporated. This will help to strengthen provision on performance, acceptance and close-out of contracts, even involving the community residents. The construction supervision is improving and carried out by professional supervision companies (especially for large construction works). For medium and small scale contracts, agencies normally supervise works, and this is reported as being usually inadequate. As such, under-inspection of goods, and cost and time overruns in works contracts, are reportedly common. This is coupled by delays in final payments. It has been reported that there exists an International Arbitration Center with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and that in 1994, Decree 116/CP established economic arbitration centers in provinces and centrally administered cities. But there is no Arbitration Law as yet, arbitration does not seem to be a common practice used in public procurement, and local contract conditions for dispute resolution are reportedly inadequate. At sub-national level, procurement staff is normally unaware of economic arbitration. The old Standard Bidding Documents for goods issued in 2005 contain a standard provision on conciliation. No reference is made to any particular set of arbitration rules or proceedings, as this is for the parties to indicate in the Special Conditions of Contract. It is therefore important for the new standard contract forms to include stronger provisions on ADR. As local conditions have to be developed further to clearly reflect rights and obligations of parties in contracts, and courts are generally regarded as a mechanism of last resort, HE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT SYSTEM The State Audit law has strengthen the role of the State Audit Agency, including compliance procurement audit as part of its responsibilities. This is in addition to the appraisal system that is integrated in the Law on Proc. and the role of the MPI to lead and coordinate with agencies in conducting oversight and inspection for procurement nationwide. There is also a specific provision on procurement inspection (Art 71, Law on Proc.) and in 2007 DMPP has conducted 8 oversight and inspections missions at ministries, provinces and state-owned enterprises.. However, it was also reported that audits are not regular and usually conducted only when there is a major complaint against procuring entities. There is need to systematize the procurement oversight in combination with reviewing reporting system, inspection and audits. There is no institutionalized internal control mechanism within agencies through the establishment of internal audit units with clearly defined functions and procedures. Audits are not regularly undertaken, and usually conducted only when there is a complaint. This means that audit recommendations are more reactive than proactive, and may tend to address specific transactions rather than broader issues on operations and practices by agencies. Recently, there is significant improvement in auditing, which is normally carried out when closing out investment project on request from procuring entities. The audit results are systematized in order to enforce the law compliance. The positive impacts of these efforts are to be observed in time. There is no established internal control system within agencies, through the mandatory creation of internal audit units with clearly defined functions and procedures. See comments at sub-indicator 9c. Auditors have limited knowledge on procurement regulations and practice, and so the Comprehensive Capacity Building Program is to be further developed to include these auditors as targeted participants. There is a good provision in Art. 73 of the Law on Proc. that creates the Consulting Council on Compliant Settlement. This body is part of an entire appeals procedure that begins with the procuring entity, the procedure is bound by timelines, the body is outside the regular courts, and the body includes a representative from the relevant professional association. However, there appears to be no enforceability or finality in its decisions, because an aggrieved party has the discretion to either sue in court or go through the process of settlement of procurement complaints. There is no clear provision on the powers of the body and the remedies it may impose. Art. 75 of the Law on Proc. and Chapter IX of the Decree deal with violations of the law, but these remedies are clearly given either to the person deciding the investment, not to the Consulting Council. Its purpose thus appears to be merely consultative to the Competent Person. There may be a need to specify more clearly the division of jurisdiction between the administrative process and the courts, and the powers of the Consulting Council may be strengthened further. It is apparent from the Law on Proc. and the Decree that much effort has been taken to ensure that decisions are unbiased. However, although Art. 73 of the Law on Proc. states that the Consulting Council may request for the necessary information and documents, there is no clear provision that provides which these relevant documents are. There is also a need to strengthen Art. 73 of the Law on Proc. so that the discretion of the Competent Person and the scope of his decision in settling a bidder’s complaint are clearly specified and not subject to abuse. There is no provision to post the decision of the Competent Person or the Consulting Council, except the requirement in Art. 5 of Law on Proc. for the posting of the treatment of violations of the Law. The complaint resolutions are returned to the concerned only, not required to publicize. The complaint review body only has a consultative role to the Competent Person. Under Art. 5 of the Law on Proc., relevant procurement information are required to be posted in the procurement paper and procurement website by DMPP/MPI and is readily available to the public. This is complemented by a requirement under the new State Auditing Law for the State Auditing Agency to make audit information public. However, GoV should put more efforts in making the information disclosed accurate and complete. The Law on Proc. has good provisions on ensuring competition, avoiding conflicts of interest, prohibited acts in procurement, and the penalties for violations (Arts. 11, 12, and 75, Law on Proc.). However, the standard tender documents still have to be issued and improved, and precise provisions for incorporating these in the tendering documents are needed. In 2007, a number of SBDs issued (see comments in sub-indicator 2b), but there are yet to include anti-corruption provisions. Art. 75 of the Law on Proc. and Ch. IX of the Decree provide these. Art. 75 also specifically provides that individuals whose acts in violation of the Law on Proc. constitute crimes shall be dealt with in accordance with the Criminal legislation. The Law on Anti-Corruption was passed in 2005, and cases on corruption are being reported in local newspapers, and that this was an indication of enforcement of anti-corruption measures. Implementing agencies are yet to compile and publish black list of violated bidders and there are no system for penalize and record administrative cases, the abuse of authorities by government staff, etc. It should be noted that there was a previous concern that local bidders were reluctant to report corruption for fear of adversely affecting a long-term relationship with their potential employers/purchasers. It would be interesting to see in the future how the new Law on Proc. and the new Law on Anti-Corruption affect this concern. GoV has anti-corruption programme, well coordinated with high-level authority but there is no special measures for public procurement. Recently, the Central Anti-Corruption Steering Committee has been established to strictly deal with corruption and wastefulness at all levels. Even the Law on Proc. has strengthened provisions on corrupt practices, and provides some indicators of corruption in procurement. The Law on Proc. has improved private sector participation in procurement, as a professional association is represented in the Consulting Council on Complaint Settlement (Art. 73), and community residents are tapped to supervise procurement activities (Art. 59). However, the law does not institutionalize a participative or collaborative process whereby various stakeholders are consulted on higher policy matters. Civil society observers are not required to be invited during public biddings. There yet to develop an effective system for dealing with complaints. This has probably led to the reluctance of bidders to report corruption. Art. 64 of the Law on Proc. gives bidders the right to file procurement complaints, petitions and denunciations. However, it appears that concerns on the judicial system still persist, and that while there are specific provisions on securing confidentiality, the integrity of the entire system needs to be developed further. The 1998 Ordinance on Civil Servants requires government staff to respect the people and provide a diligent service to the people, to be honest, to avoid bureaucracy and corruption, to use public resources with economy, and to avoid abuse of their position. They are also expected to follow other related codes such as the Anti-Corruption Law. These are complemented by Ch. IV of the Law on Proc. which constantly reminds public officers involved in procurement on responsibilities in the bidder selection process, the need for preserving the confidentiality of procurement-related documents, the need for being honest, objective and impartial in the bidding process, and the need for bidders to be truthful and accurate in the bidding process and in filing procurement complaints, petitions and denunciations.
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