At least seven private firms donated medical equipment to Bosnian hospitals and then later secured contracts from them for supplies to keep the equipment in use worth millions more.
An investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo found that gifts were the ticket to securing contracts worth far more than the equipment given away initially. Medical institutions continued to buy from firms that give them freebies first.
Over eight years, the firms donated lab equipment worth 2.2 million to seven hospital – then snagged contracts for chemicals and other supplies worth nearly 14.7 million KM without even having to compete for them.
Officials from the Bosnian Public Procurement Agency say that bidding procedures based on presents are not in line with the law. Medical organizations, they say, should be searching for the best possible equipment needed. However, the law is vague, and mostly never enforced.
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