ECONOMY

Innovative proposal for transparency in public projects

The Greek chapter of the organization Transparency International has submitted a draft bill aimed at reducing corruption and mismanagement in the field of public works and in the procurement of armaments, officials of the organization said yesterday. They said the aim of the bill was not just to introduce another piece of legislation in an area already characterized by an abundance of laws, but to instigate the application of provisions to boost transparency through the widest possible dissemination of information and citizens’ easy access to it, as well as tender procedures. The provisions also codify existing legislation and abolish dozens of special laws governing public agencies’ tenders and procurement procedures. The innovative proposals from Transparency International include the application of a single auctioning system for all public agencies and organizations, the establishment of an independent authority assigned with the task of ensuring the application of laws, the stipulation of strict penalties for mismanagement and breach of faith, compulsory insurance for all projects and the institution of auditors outside the agency that assigned the contract. For arms procurement, it is proposed that all special evaluation committees be abolished and responsibilities be reassigned to the general staffs of the military. Transparency International also proposes setting up a nine-member supreme council for monitoring public works and public procurements that would be under parliamentary control. The draft bill also provides that in case the winner of a tender is unable to finish the project, the assigning authority shall freeze the contract within a month and retain its letter of guarantee, while their operating license shall be taken away. The signing of complementary contracts is strictly forbidden and any cost overruns are to be assumed by the contractor. Overruns of up to 10 percent during construction may be allowed if adequately supported by evidence. The quality of work shall be monitored by specially hired consultants for each sector of European Union-subsidized projects under the Third Community Support Framework investment plan and for Olympic projects, while the Public Works Inspectorate shall be abolished.