External Experts to Evaluate Big Public Procurement Deals in Bulgaria
Contracting authorities lacking staff with the necessary qualifications will have to bring external experts in evaluation committees, according to Public Procurement Act changes.
The set of changes to the Public Procurement Act passed second reading in Parliament.
Under the new provisions, external experts will be picked from a list compiled in advance together with the branch organizations, according to reports of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).
The legal changes stipulate that evaluation committees have to include at least one legal expert and at least half of the other members need to have professional competence relevant to the subject matter of the public procurement contract.
Evaluation committees must include at least one external expert in the case of a public procurement deal worth BGN 9 779 000 or more in the sphere of construction.
External experts will be selected by drawing lots among all experts with professional competence relevant to the subject matter of the public procurement contract.
The drawing of the lots will be organized by the Public Procurement Agency.
Experts selected as members of evaluation committees will receive remuneration and business trip money.
MPs rejected the proposal of Dimitar Lazarov, MP from center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), that the provisions related to the choice of experts by lot be dropped.
Lazarov also insisted that external experts could prove to be unable to take part in evaluation committees, adding that it would result in failure to meet the deadlines.
GERB MP Tomislav Donchev, former EU Funds Minister, commented on the difficulties surrounding the appointment of external experts and defining their payment.
"External experts must not be overestimated, in many cases their expert statement and independence are questionable" he commented, asking who they were answerable to.
Bulgaria's Parliament also adopted provisions related to evaluating bids in public procurement deals when the contract is to be awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender.
Under the legal changes, evaluation parameters which are not directly related to the subject matter of the public procurement contract are not allowed.
The technical specifications will not include classified information.
The presence of classified information will be indicated in the contract documents. In such cases, information about the deal will be available under the conditions and in accordance with the procedures set out in the Classified Information Protection Act.