Initiation of AmCham Procurement and EU Funds Working Group

On July 11th, 2023, the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria initiated the start of its Procurement Group, which will be working under the Rule of Law Committee. The event was hosted at the AmCham office and welcomed 10 professionals from member companies and law firms.

At the beginning of the meeting were outlined the main goals of the working group:

  1. Monitoring legislation, its enforcement and identifying deviations to alert and suggest changes/improvements in the field of public procurement. In the area of concessions, the working group will collaborate with the AmCham Energy and Mineral Resources Committee. To take an active stance when governing bodies initiate legislative changes that might challenge the smooth operation of the business.
  2. To become a discussion forum which will prepare the content for a round table on the law enforcement of the Public Procurement Act (PPA).
  3. Will identify and analyze problems in the PPA and propose solutions which will be reflected in the AmCham White Paper.

During the meeting were discussed various challenges of the PPA that the business faces and possible improvement in the legislation. Some of them are related to the preparation and evaluation of offers, and the different points of view on that subject by contractors and tenders.

The PPA WG will work together with the AmCham Digital Economy Committee on a statement which will outline the challenges that companies have with qualified electronic signatures issued in other EU countries and unrecognized and unauthorized for usage by the Bulgarian electronic public procurement system. Another suggestion that came out during the meeting was to consider proposals that would allow the PPA to promote the most economically advantageous offer. Raise a discussion on the applicability of the criteria and possible mechanisms to extend the scope of the most economically advantageous tender criterion.

There will be a more in-depth discussion of the challenges and possible solutions in the Public Procurement Act that will be compiled into White paper and given to the Government.

The next meeting of the AmCham Procurement Group is scheduled for September 2023.