|Workshop in Yerevan|
Public Procurement Policy Workshop in Yerevan, Armenia
The government of the Republic of Armenia, the EBRD and the UNCITRAL hosted a two-day policy dialogue workshop in Yerevan to discuss progress in developing the public procurement regulatory and institutional framework and to identify areas of potential reform and capacity building. An assessment of the Armenian public procurement law was done by comparing the model law provisions. Shortcomings were identified and recommendations made for dealing with them.
Key participants were Martin Ehrenberg (senior advisor, EBRD), Caroline Nicholas, (senior lawyer, UNCITRAL), Makar Ghambaryan (Director, Public Procurement Department, Ministry of Finance), Vahe Mahtesyan (Deputy Director, Public Procurement Department), Eliza Niewiadomska (Legal Transition Programme, EBRD), Alexander Astvatsatryan (procurement officer at World Bank), Nourilya Moldakhamatova (procurement specialist) Prof. Christopher Yukins (George Washington University Law School), Steen Bruun-Nielsen and Larisa Kokareva (international experts, EBRD UNCITRAL initiative) and Karen Brutyan (local adviser, EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative).
Armenia has been steadily implementing broad reforms to improve procurement efficiency and economy and open up competition. The legislative framework includes the public procurement law (PPL) and several decrees of the Ministry of Finance and other authorised government agencies. The current law came into force on 1 January 2011 and now includes several legal instruments of the EU Public Procurement Directives.
Workshop sessions on day one included presentations from the ministry on current progress of the reforms and the allocation of roles between regulatory authority, monitoring facility and the remedies function. One session focused on identifying gaps between existing public procurement law and regulation in Armenia compared to the 2011 UNCITRAL Model Law and other best practices, while general trends in public procurement in EBRD’s countries of operation were analysed. There was an exploration of what worked and what was lacking in Armenia and a look at a new “client capacity assessment tool”. The final session on day one focused on recommendations to make the Armenian public procurement laws more robust and more efficient.
On day two, participants first mapped out a plan towards achieving concrete reforms in Armenia. There was a detailed discussion on developing a code of conduct that could deal with conflicts of interest and a session on selection of procurement methods and public contracts, using the tool box approach of the 2011 UNCITRAL Model Law. EBRD UNCITRAL has launched a technical cooperation and participants identified areas of potential assistance, that could be conducted in Russian or English as appropriate. A work plan has now been agreed in principle, leading the way forward for further reform to the public procurement sector in Armenia.