Ensuring implementation and enforcement of the law: towards a more active participation of concerned parties

The discrete reforms on public procurement have created legal instability that confuses public purchasers and bidders about the rules by which they must abide.

Furthermore, during the field mission, some institutions informed the review team that they were not consulted about the formulation of the 2011 Decree, due to the urgency to enact the reform immediately after the Revolution.

Moreover, certain provisions introduced by the 2011 Decree have not yet been entirely adopted within public institutions. This is, for instance, the case for the creation of internal purchasing committees.

It is therefore crucial that the High Commission of Public Procurements, and more particularly, the National Observatory of Public Procurements, raise the awareness of stakeholders about the new procurement procedures.

In order to strengthen the legitimacy of the reforms and to guarantee their actual implementation, the government should develop mechanisms to involve the different actors, including those of the private sector, in the development of reforms related to the public procurement process.

To this end, the government should, based on the experiences of other countries, for example, identify the various degrees of participation of the various stakeholders, and determine which actors are the most concerned by certain reforms and should therefore be systematically consulted. Public involvement in government activities can vary considerably, in terms of:

  • • Awareness-raising and information: the government may go beyond simply informing the public on its activities, and facilitating access to information (access to public archives, official bulletins, websites, etc.).
  • • Consultation: the government may consult with the public on policy development and implementation. It is crucial that the private sector be systematically involved in the development of future rules governing the public procurement process.
  • • Active Participation: citizens are invited to actively participate in defining the policy-making process and the content of policies. The active participation of a civil society actor may be a means to exercise oversight of specific public procurement areas that are especially vulnerable to corruption due to the amounts of money at stake. (see Box 1.4 on Mexico’s experience).
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