|Workshop in Baku|
Public Procurement Policy Workshop in Baku, Azerbaijan
The government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the EBRD and the UNCITRAL hosted a two-day policy dialogue workshop in Baku to discuss the public procurement environment, focusing on progress towards developing a regulatory and institutional framework, analysis of the potential for further reform and capacity-building, and a diagnostic assessment on the quality of Azerbaijani law in the framework of the 2011 UNCITRAL Model Law.
Key participants were Neil McKain (head resident office, EBRD), Ambassador Roland Kobia (EU delegation to Azerbaijan), Alekper Guilyev (head of staff, State Procurement Agency), Eliza Niewiadomska and Michel Nussbaumer (Legal Transition Programme, EBRD), Elshad Samedzadeh (head of Dept of Economic Analysis and Control, State Procurement Agency), Deepal Fernando (senior procurement specialist, World Bank), Olly Norojono (resident representative Azerbaijan, Asian Development Bank), Steen Bruun Nielsen and Larissa Kokareva (international experts, EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative), Samira Musayeva (legal officer, UNCITRAL secretariat), Prof. Christopher Yukins (George Washington University Law School), Evgeny Smirnov (senior procurement specialist, EBRD), Akif Azimov (local adviser, EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative), Edelmira Campos Nunez (economic and environmental affairs adviser, OSCE/OCEEA), Daniel Ivarsson (senior advisor, principal administrator, OECD/SIGMA), Sahil Babayev (director, international dept, Ministry of Economic Development), Almaz Qahramanova (Ministry of Finance), Sahib Mustafayev (Sector Electronic Database Formation and State Procurement Agency) Anna Müller (legal affairs officer, World Trade Organization).Azerbaijan is on the cusp of several financial sector reforms, but the economy is still vulnerable to fluctuations. A holistic business environment will ensure that efficiency, modernisation, transparency and integrity are at the core of the public procurement environment, which is regulated by the Law on Public Procurements, 27 December 2001 N 245-IIQ (PPL).
The first session on day one discussed the regulatory and institutional framework and the government’s reform agenda. Further sessions explored delivering value for money (using case studies), procurement practices at the Asian Development Bank for large works, the benefits of competition and transparency recommended by the 2011 UNCITRAL Model Law, addressing conflicts of interest, legal diagnostics and key characteristics of good public procurement. Recommendations in six domain areas – legal and institutional framework, procurement planning and selection of procurement method, procedures for each procurement method, communication and notification, challenge procedures and procurement records – were made.
On day two, discussion first focused on the e-Procurement agenda in Azerbaijan, including electronic government procurement (e-GP), starting by the definition and broader context of e-GP and broader policy goals such as increased efficiency, transparency, accountability and integrity and better governance. There was a look at common technological, logistical and practical concerns over e-GP and possible legal obstacles to its introduction. Further discussions took place on the WTO and the broader goals of international trade negotiations on government procurement, and a look ahead at what should be included in the government’s reform agenda.
Participants successfully highlighted key areas to focus on, suggest next steps and consider detailed examples for both procedural and fundamental changes to be implemented. A smaller follow-up meeting will build on the conclusions and further develop the reforms.