Independent Body’s Bad Decisions Cost Millions

Reporters of the Sarajevo-based Center for Investigative Reporting reviewed 22 public procurement procedures in which the national Procurement Review Body ruled the combined damages of nearly KM 12 million. Reporters uncovered that public institutions and public companies had to pay half of this money because of PRB’s bad decisions.

The Procurement Review Body is a seven-member independent institution that monitors the implementation of the public procurement law. It is made up of lawyers who have passed the bar exam and experts in public procurement, transport, construction or strategic business management. Bosnian parliament selects them following a vacancy.

The Procurement Review Body members that CIN reporters talked to said that errors could happen because certain legal provisions were interpreted differently, but they also said that tendering institutions made errors as well.

Unlike the public institutions which were sanctioned for their errors, the PRB members’ bad decisions have not been punished because the law does not hold them accountable.

Even though the PRB officials admit that errors are made, the insist that they were first made by the institutions and companies which conducted the public procurement procedure and this is how the damage was done. However, PRB’s members are hired to insure that the institutions are correctly applying the Law. If PRB established that an institution had violated the law, they can rescind its decision, order it to fix the error or stop the procurement procedure.

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