CONECT, INLUCC sign agreement to combat corruption in public procurement | Tunisia News Gazette

CONECT, INLUCC sign agreement to combat corruption in public procurement

A framework agreement for partnership and co-operation between Tunisia’s Confederation of Corporate Citizens (CONECT) and the Anti-Corruption Authority (INLUCC) was signed on Thursday in Tunis.

The agreement aims to combat corruption in public procurement which costs the state 2 million dinars per year.

Public contracts and purchases account for 15 million dinars, or 15% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to Chawki Tabib, President of INLUCC.

Under this framework agreement, CONECT and INLUCC plan, on the sidelines of a conference on “public procurement: procedures and modalities of payment”, to hold conferences and conduct campaigns to raise awareness of the adverse impacts of corruption.

Tabib told the conference that “several failures are linked to the public procurement system and the lack of a regulatory and legislative framework governing public procurement”, noting that purchases outside the public market are estimated at more than 2 billion dinars per year.

He criticised the fact that the control of public purchases is limited to a simple prior checking of the files, whereas the implementation phase is in no way subjected, in most of the cases, to administrative and financial control.

According to Tabib, this is also due to the lack of efficiency because of the insufficient number of controllers in the public procurement field, which is estimated at only 450 supervisors for a public purchases volume of 15 MTD.

The INLUCC President also called for a more efficient online procurement system, recalling that since its launch, only 75 online purchasing contracts have been completed.

“Tunisia is, however, deploying considerable efforts to counter corruption in public procurement,” said Tabib, recalling that the country was ranked 75th in the world out of 176 countries in 2016 with a score of 41/100, moving up one spot compared with 2015, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index “.

88.5% of companies have problems related to public procurement

Tarek Cherif, president of CONECT noted that 88.5% of companies said they had problems with public procurement and more than 96% considered that procurement procedures were cumbersome and complicated.

Cherif said the agreement signed with the National Anti-Corruption Authority will facilitate the work of economic companies by ensuring compliance with deadlines for execution and payment of contracts and also by favouring small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Source: TAP news Agency

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