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News article12 May 2024

Workshop on Legal Protection in International Construction Projects and Public Procurement, 4 March 2024 in Ankara, Türkiye

President of the Public Procurement Authority of the Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Hamdi GÜLEÇ is seen together with Mr. Odoardo COMO, Head of the Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to Türkiye, esteemed representatives of the Network of Public Procurement Review bodies of South-Eastern Europe and other distinguished guests.

Workshop on Legal Protection in International Construction Projects and Public Procurement, 4 March 2024

The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) organised the "Workshop on Legal Protection in International Construction Projects and Public Procurement" on 4 March 2024 in Ankara, Türkiye.

The opening speech of the workshop was given by Mr. Hamdi GÜLEÇ, President of the Authority. Mr. GÜLEÇ started his speech by emphasising the role of public procurement in social and economic development. He shared various statistical information on public procurement in Türkiye to show the point reached by Turkish public procurement system and drew attention to the high harmonisation of Turkish system with international practices. He also mentioned the important path taken by the Electronic Public Procurement Platform (EKAP), which was established by the PPA in 2010, on the journey of digitalisation, and the stage it has already reached, and stressed the importance of cooperation with other countries’ institutions and organisations representing the sector in order to further strengthen Turkish public procurement system. In this regard, he expressed his hope that the Workshop, which was organised with the participation of the countries that are members of the Network of Public Procurement Review Bodies in Southeast European Countries, of which the Public Procurement Authority became a member about a year ago, and in partnership with the Turkish Employers’ Association of Construction Industries (İNTES), would strengthen this cooperation.

Mr. GÜLEÇ was followed by a speech by Mr. Adin KONDZIC, Board Member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Public Procurement Review Body, holding the rotating presidency of the Network of Public Procurement Review Bodies in Southeast Europe. Mr. KONDZIC expressed his gratitude for the hospitality shown by the PPA and for the hard work put into the organisation of the Workshop and stressed that legal protection must evolve to provide solutions to current challenges in order to ensure quality and efficiency in public procurement. He stated that this Workshop and future negotiations will directly affect the efficiency of public sector projects. He also underlined that the common ideas and experiences of Member States are of vital importance in shaping legal protection in public procurement. 

A speech was then delivered by Mr. Odoardo COMO, Head of the Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to Türkiye. Mr. COMO mentioned that it is very important to ensure competition in the activities carried out by countries within the framework of public procurement systems. In order to emphasize the close relations between Türkiye and the European Union, he gave information on the "European Union Solidarity Fund Authorization Agreement" signed between Türkiye and the European Commission in order to compensate the damages of the earthquake disaster that occurred on 6 February 2023. Emphasising that the steps taken by Türkiye in the field of economy and the measures taken are in the right direction, Mr. COMO drew attention to the importance of spending public money in a transparent, responsible and efficient manner in accordance with rules of public procurement, and of spending public money in a way that meets the needs of Türkiye.

The Workshop was organised in four (4) sessions. The title of the first session was " Top 5 Public Procurement Challenges and Solutions in Each Member Country". This session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Olgun DEĞİRMENCİ, Secretary General of the University of Economics and Technology, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). The first presentation in this session was made by Mr Jonaid MYZYRI, Chairman of the Public Procurement Commission of the Republic of Albania, who addressed the five main problems encountered in public works contracts in Albania. In this context, he made statements on the application of criteria for non-price factors in determining the most economically advantageous tender, the use of technological and innovative tools in public procurement, the lack of legislation on green public procurement, increasing transparency and human capacity.

Afterwards, Dr. Mrs. Ahu Meryem ERDOĞAN, Head of International Relations Department of the PPA, began her presentation by discussing the numerical figures, legal framework and the structure of the PPA regarding the public procurement system of Türkiye. In the course of her presentation, she emphasised the importance of emergency public procurement, professionalization in public procurement and certification system, sharing information about their contents. Drawing examples from best practices in other countries, she offered various recommendations that could be implemented in Türkiye. Mrs. Aneta STEVKOVSKA, Member of the State Commission for Public Procurement Appeals of North Macedonia, then presented the legal framework of North Macedonian public procurement legislation, the structure of the institution responsible for complaint reviews and the functioning of the complaint review system. Mr. Ilir HALILI, Expert from the Procurement Review Body of the Republic of Kosovo, spoke about the challenges encountered in procurement processes in Kosovo. He stated that the prolongation of the procurement process due to unlawful complaint applications and the uncertainty of the right of economic operators to file a complaint are the main problems.

In the second session of the Workshop entitled "Construction Contracts and Public Procurement: Challenges of Legal Protection", Mr. Zoran BLAZEVIC, Senior Expert from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) / SIGMA, made a presentation. Mr. BLAZEVIC provided detailed explanations on the challenges faced by the private sector, the public sector and public procurement review bodies, and made several recommendations for improving legal protection.

The third session of the Workshop entitled " Appeal Case Examples in Public Procurement for Construction Projects" was chaired by Mr. Serdar GÜNBAY, Vice President of the PPA. In this session, Dr. Mr. Erdem BAFRA, Head of the Legal Services Department of the PPA, elaborated on the legal procedures regarding applications to public procurement in Turkish law, along with statistical data, and explained the adjudication processes by the Public Procurement Authority regarding these applications and the legal rules applied in resolving disputes related to public contracts. Mr. Zvonimir JUKIC, Member of the State Commission for Supervision of Public Procurement Procedures of Croatia, then started his presentation by providing statistical information on Croatian public procurement legislation and the complaint review system. Regarding the main issues that are the subject of complaint and appeal applications in public procurement processes for construction projects in Croatia, he provided information on the scope of the contracting authorities' request for disclosure of extremely low tenders, whether the tenderer's change of references to work experience during the evaluation of tenders is within the scope of information and document completion, and third country access to public procurement in Croatia. Then Ms. Anca Roxana DOBRE, Counselor for Solving Complaints of the National Council for Solving Complaints of Romania, spoke about the working procedures of The National Council for Solving Complaints, which is the independent administrative authority in Romania, and about certain Court of Justice of the European Union cases of importance for Romania.

The last session of the workshop entitled " Top 3 Opportunities for Developing the Public Procurement System" was chaired by Prof. Dr. Çiğdem KIRCA, Dean of the Faculty of Law, TOBB University of Economics and Technology. In this session, Inspector Mr. Albi DVORANI from the Public Procurement Commission of the Republic of Albania gave a presentation on how to make public procurement more efficient, effective and sustainable through capacity building, green public procurement, digital transformation and artificial intelligence. Afterwards, Ms. Tomris OKŞAR, Senior Procurement Specialist from the World Bank Ankara Office, made a presentation on environmental issues and the critical role of public procurement in addressing environmental challenges. In the following session, Prof. Dr. Murat SEZGİNER, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, addressed the problems arising from the relationship between procurement processes and the performance of procurement contracts in procurement law. In his presentation, Mr. Necmettin YÜKSEL, Head of the Electronic Procurement Department of the PPA, discussed the development of data analysis in the procurement system, the digitalisation of products, the establishment of a certification system for qualification assessment, the possibility of electronic bidding in exempt and out-of-scope procurements, and the adaptation of artificial intelligence technologies to procurement systems.

The content of the Workshop was enriched with the active participation of guests in the Question & Answer sections following each session. 

With the completion of the last session, the Workshop was concluded by thanking all session chairs, speakers, participants, organising company staff and hotel staff for their efforts.