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Draft concept of development of the procurement system presented to the Prime Minister


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Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, a consultation was held, during which the draft concept of the development of the procurement system was discussed.

The Prime Minister noted that the issue of the development of the procurement sector is one of the most important topics of the government's continuing discussions, which has many nuances, complications and importance. "We are talking about state procurements, that is, in fact, programs implemented through the state budget, which has two components. One is the efficiency of the expenditures and implementation of programs, and we often have problems there. Part of them is related to the fact that, in many cases, the company offering the lowest price does not always offer the highest quality, but even quality service in general.

Second, in many cases we have problems not with the price and quality, but with the time and speed of the actions. In other cases, very often we have the problem of having to make a purchase from one person. We had a similar case at the Cabinet meeting today. Of course, this is related to objective, force majeure situations, but also in the case of direct purchases, we are not always sure how effective was our payment for the given service.

On the other hand, our procurement system, in particular, our state system, has no mechanism for financial evaluation of time. The same procurement procedure in many cases takes a long time because the loser sues the winner, the process takes a long time, then the winner sues the loser, then both of them sue the Government. All this is normal, we are not against clarifications in judicial and legislative frameworks. Then, these programs are either not implemented, or are implemented one or two years later than planned.

We have no method of evaluating how much money the state lost as a result of late implementation. It is possible that we have a court dispute over 3 million AMD for 4 years, but no one is counting whether the state won or not during that time. We may have lost several billion AMD. Moreover, in such cases there is also a problem of moral damage," Nikol Pashinyan said.

The Head of the Government reminded that there was a case that the construction of a school building in one of the rural settlements was delayed for a year and a half due to legal proceedings and it is not known when it will be completed. "During that time, the children did not attend school, etc. Did anyone evaluate the damage or not? But on the other hand, of course, there is the opposite approach, that the most effective price adjustment mechanism is the competitive procedure. Do you remember how many changes we made to the procurement system during this time? We have to say honestly that we are in search, and we have not managed to find the golden mean so far.

Let's hope that the Ministry of Finance has found that golden mean and will offer us today. We must tirelessly continue the discussion of this topic until, however, we achieve efficiency. But the biggest problem is to remember that we can actually quote everything, absolutely everything, except the most valuable thing, and the most valuable thing is time. At least so far, I have not come across that we have a methodology for quoting time. And why is time the most precious thing, because perhaps it is one of the few things or the only thing that you will never bring back. That is, it was either used effectively, or it was not used, or it was used for the opposite purpose”, Nikol Pashinyan said.

Then the main problems existing in the procurement system, the outdated state of the electronic procurement system, planning and procedures of the procurement process were addressed. It was noted that the development of a new procurement system is currently underway. The draft strategy envisages digitization of procurement procedures, modernization of toolkits, training of procurement professionals, capacity building and improvement of the contract management process.

The main goal of the project is to continuously improve the procurement system in a targeted manner, to carry out the rating of procurement participants, and also to improve the system of procurement from one person, ensuring an increase in the balanced flexibility of responsibility.

The representatives of the departments concerned with the project came up with questions, observations and recommendations.
Prime Minister Pashinyan once again emphasized the need for consistent improvement of the procurement sector and instructed to revise the draft, taking into account the results of the discussion.

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