Republic Commission for Protection of Rights in Public Procurement Procedures, with support of the United Nations Development Programme in the Republic of Serbia (UNDP) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – Mission to Serbia (OSCE), organised a two-days regional conference “Challenges and trends in public procurement – remedies in public procurement procedures“ that was held 29- 30 November 2017 in the “Metropol Palace“ hotel in Belgrade.
The conference gathered more than a hundred participants from Serbia and from the region, and among them were the most prominent representatives of the independent bodies in charge of remedies in public procurement from Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, BiH, Macedonia and Serbia. The event was also attended by highly-ranked representatives of all the institutions of the Republic of Serbia relevant for public procurement and related fields (State Audit Institution, Anti-corruption Agency, Public Procurement Office, Commission for Protection of Competition etc.), well as the representatives of the judicial authorities (Administrative Court and Misdemeanor Appeal court), and numerous distinguish experts in the field of public procurement.
By the introductory speeches, the participants were addressed by Hana Hukic, President of Republic Commission for Protection of Rights in Public Procurement Procedures, Steliana Nedera, Deputy Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme UN (UNDP) and Joseph Mellott, Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.
On the first working day, participants had an opportunity to listen a lecture held by Sue Arrowsmith, professor of public procurement law and policy at the University in Nottingham, United Kingdom, who is one of most respectable EU experts in the field of public procurement. Ms Arrowsmith was talking about judgements of Court of Justice of the EU in the area of public procurement as well as about the EU rules on concessions. On the second day, through a three-segmented-panel discussion, representatives of the independent bodies in charge of remedies in public procurement discussed the expert issues particularly related to the protection of rights in public procurement procedures. Topics of the panels were: 1. Judicial protection and the decisions of independent review bodies in charge of legal remedies in public procurement, 2. Capacity to initiate proceedings”, (“locus standi”) in the procedure of protection of rights, and 3. Special competences of independent review bodies in charge of legal remedies in public procurement in line with European Union Directives.
The participants agreed that the conference represented an important contribution to the strengthening of regional cooperation in the field of public procurement and particularly contributed to better understanding of the role, position and importance of the independent bodies in charge of remedies in public procurement. Moreover, the event was an opportunity to identify and analyze different problems and challenges, the bodies in the region that are in charge of remedies in public procurement are facing with in their everyday work. That was also a good occasion for the participants to exchange precious experience important for successful overcoming the mentioned problems and challenges.