December 16, 2016
At the invitation of IBLF Russia, Nikolai Akimov and Brook Horowitz facilitated an expert discussion on "Best Practices in Public Procurement - Models for Development" at the Moscow Metropolitan University of Governance (MGUU). 150 enthusiastic and engaged public officials and public administration students attended.
Federica Saliola, Program Manager of the World Bank's Benchmarking Public Procurement (BPP), and Angela Joo-Hyun Kang, Founder and Executive President of Global Competitiveness Empowerment Forum of South Korea (GCEF) were the presenters. Federica went in depth into the methodology and results of the recently published 2017 BPP survey, and explained the high ratings of Russia - especially in the needs assessment and bid preparation phase. She also highlighted a number of areas remaining for improvement such as provision of performance guarantee. Angela spoke about how South Korea has been taking an innovative approach to public procurement, and described recent successful efforts of certain municipal authorities to improve value-for-money in public tenders.
On 9th December, Federica, Angela, Boris Tkachenko (Head of IBLF Russia) and Brook Horowitz spoke at the annual Moscow Government conference "Government and Business against Corruption in Public Procurement". This is now the 4th year that IBLF Russia has partnered with Moscow on this landmark conference. This year, there were over 900 participants, speakers from federal and municipal authorities and business, and competition and procurement regulators from a number of EEA countries. There was an impressive exhibition demonstrating some of the recent achievements, not least Moscow Government's new, fully operational, state-of-the art e-procurement system.
Official conferences like this, of course, in themselves do not change the realities on the ground, but it was certainly refreshing to see a real desire to get to grips with the not inconsiderable challenges facing the local authorities, a very open dialogue with business, and a genuine commitment to the idea that public procurement is directly connected to improving peoples' lives.