|Coordination of Donors Activities & Information - Armenia|
Coordination of Donor Activities in the Republic of Armenia
The EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative has been active in the Republic of Armenia since 2011 and during this period much has been done to make Armenian legislation compliant with international best standards as well as finalising the eProcurement reform, which was started in 2006, by adopting a strategy on the approval of the installation of the system. This eProcurement system was purchased in 2009 with the help of the World Bank, which was already involved in procurement reform in the Armenia when the initiative stepped in. Since then, cooperation between the two banks has been continuous, providing grounds for achieving a better outcome in the overall process of reforming the Armenian public procurement system. Currently, the World Bank is funding the inclusion of new modules into the existing e-procurement system and the EBRD is providing consultancy services through hired international and local experts.
Other donors active in the region are also interested in contributing to the reforms. Chiefly, the Asian Development Bank has confirmed its interest in supporting public procurement reform in Armenia. ADB will hire international and national consultants to carry out the scoping exercise with the Armenian government and other stakeholders to understand what the gaps are and what is requested by the stakeholders. ADB’s support can thus be directed at the areas not currently covered by existing support schemes, so as to avoid overlapping.
Collaboration with the OECD/Sigma has been very productive. All the legislative acts produced under the initiative were sent to Sigma for review. In 2014, one of Sigma’s main areas of focus will be the amendment of the Armenian primary legislation to make it compliant with the GPA’s new text. This is the area of cooperation between Sigma and the EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative, as the latter’s experts are also involved in the process of amending the existing legislation.
The EU has also supported the reforms throughout the years. The main support was through the Sigma project as well as organising expert missions from EU countries to Armenia and study visits to EU countries to examine best practices in the implementation of eProcurement reform as well as of framework agreements. Two TAIEX visits were organised jointly with the initiative so that more people can benefit from getting acquainted with the best practices.
Besides these donors, who were also active in previous years, new donors have expressed their wish to participate in the project, namely USAID’s EDMC project whose main aim is to support SMEs. This has already produced general public procurement knowledge tutorials for economic operators and contracting authorities. Cooperation with the initiative will be in the field of capacity-building activities for the contracting authorities and SMEs.
The other new partner is the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the US Department of Commerce, which agreed to contribute to the project whenever its assistance will be required.
Overall, the donors agreed that the initiative’s donor coordination activity is very useful. Information is concentrated in one place and disseminated to all interested parties simultaneously. Coordination means the parts of the sector that require more attention become more obvious and also helps reduce overlapping. Donors can see clearly what is the best way they can contribute to the project in accordance with their expertise and capacity. The Armenian example of donor coordination activities can be seen as a benchmark for the Initiative’s other projects in the region.