Main   The project of EU promoted reforms in State Procurement Agency
The EU-funded Twinning Project on “Strengthening Public Procurement Practices in Georgia”, with a budget of 1.4 million EUR provided by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), was launched in the beginning of 2019 and ended on 31 March, 2021. The project was implemented by the Austrian Federal Procurement Agency (BBG) and the National Review Commission of Slovenia (DKOM). The State Procurement Agency of Georgia (SPA) was the direct Beneficiary of the project, although the project reached out to various stakeholders represented within the Georgian public procurement landscape.
The EU and the Government of Georgia work together on the implementation of a sustainable and comprehensive public procurement landscape in accordance with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and competitiveness.
Georgia is in the next phase of approximating its public procurement legislation with relevant European Union regulations defined by the Association Agreement (AA) between the European Union and Georgia, which envisages mutual access to public procurement markets. The opening of the procurement market is connected with a gradual alignment of Georgia’s state procurement legislation. In this regard, activities conducted by the project were of utmost importance.
Major project achievements are as follows:
The project significantly contributed to the detailed revision and draft of the new primary public procurement legislation. Project experts supported the Beneficiary Institution also in drafting secondary legislation deriving from the draft Public Procurement Law. This included consultation on the implementation of regulations being in line with EU acquis and best practices as well as a thematic event on Utility Procurement, which aimed to offer Georgian State Institutions and private companies a consistent overview of the most important provisions of the EU Utilities Directive, as well as on their national transposition. The final draft Law on Public Procurement integrating comments from all line ministries and recommendations provided by the project experts was submitted to the European Commission, which has approved the latest version. The enactment process of the above-mentioned legal document will start in the nearest future.
The second major legal contribution of the project team was the support in improving the Georgian remedy system and practices within the national public procurement system in accordance with the best practices of the different Member States of the EU. Project experts delivered a number of specific outputs concerning draft regulations, comparative analysis, guidelines, and reports, which were crucial to support the implementation and proper operation of the Georgian Dispute Resolution Council from 1st January 2021. The project team organized a study visit to Slovenia for Georgian delegates, including high state officials and MPs to share insights on best practices in the EU.
Furthermore, the project team put an enormous effort to strengthening institutional and administrative capacities. This included dedicated trainings for SPA staff as well as events and workshops for representatives of the media, judiciary and executive branches of the government and high public officials directly involved in the public procurement reform. For example, the project team together with GITA (Georgian Innovation Technology Agency) organised a conference to discuss innovative and sustainable procurement and share experiences, lessons learned, as well as EU best practices.
Furthermore, a study visit to Austria was conducted and Georgian high level delegates exchanged experiences and discussed practical challenges with the various state institutions such as Federal Ministry of Defence, Federal Chancellery, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Administrative Court, Austrian Court of Audit and Federation of Austrian Industries.
After more than two years of intensive joined efforts and a very good collaboration, the project team and the Beneficiary Institution achieved great results: the draft Public Procurement Law has been approved by Brussels and its enactment process will start in the nearest future. Regulations related to the creation of the Dispute Resolution Council have been adopted by the Government and Parliament of Georgia and the newly formed entity is fully operational. In addition, capacities of the SPA staff and other stakeholders are developed in a way to better handle public procurement-related matters and upcoming challenges.
“The Twinning Project Team managed to advance many things and achieve significant progress despite the COVID-19-related situation. Adoption of the amendments to the current Public Procurement Law will be an important milestone in public procurement.” – stated Ms Colombe de Mercey, Team Leader for Governance and Human Capital, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia).
Due to the global pandemic situation, the project had to switch to a remote setting from March 2020 onwards. Since the COVID-19-related restrictions were not completely lifted until the end of the project, EU Experts were unable to travel to Georgia. Nevertheless the project team was able to implement all crucial activities together with the Beneficiary. Ultimately, the Project Closing Event was conducted virtually on 31 March 2021 gathering representatives of the executive and legislative branches of the government of Georgia, business communities, private sector, diplomatic corps, other ongoing Twinning and EU projects in Georgia.
For further information please contact:
Ms. Tamriko MIKADZE, Press and Information Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia,
Ms. Mariam CHUMBADZE, RTA Assistant, EU Twinning Project for “Strengthening Public Procurement Practices in Georgia”,
Ms. Marta KARUMIDZE, PR manager, State Procurement Agency of Georgia,