ECONOMY

Independent body cries foul over ‘abuse’ of public procurement rules

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Greece’s public procurement authority has cried foul over what it describes as systemic abuse in awarding contracts directly instead of through the process of open bids.

In its report for 2020, it said that both the state and local authorities took advantage of the Covid pandemic emergency to engage widely in such dubious practices.

The body also attributes responsibility to the legislative branch, implying that the extraordinary circumstances created by the pandemic were used as an excuse to bypass the rules.

“Out of a total of 44 laws adopted in 2020 which contained provisions related to public procurement, 33 provide for derogations from existing legislation. In addition to the five laws that ratified coronavirus-related Legislative Acts, 28 additional laws were included in individual exceptional regulations,” the report says.