This edition of Benchmarking Public Procurement presents global data and analysis examining the legal and regulatory environments that affect the ability of private sector companies to do business with governments. The report draws on readily comparable data across two thematic pillars: the procurement process, from the assessment of needs to the implementation of the procurement contract; and public procurement complaint review mechanisms.

    The report covers 180 economies—103 more than the previous edition—in order to enhance global understanding of laws and regulations that affect private suppliers’ participation in the public procurement market.

    – A continuación se recoge los principales datos del análisis, extraído del Executive Summary:

    1. Payment delays.  Delays in payment hinder participation by private firms in the public procurement process— especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that struggle with limited cash flow. Suppliers need to obtain  payment in a timely and reliable fashion; otherwise, their liquidity and profits can be impaired, reducing economic growth. Benchmarking Public Procurement data show that the higher the income level, the fewer the number of days suppliers must wait to get paid. Delays average 30 to 60 days in 9 of the 32 high-income economies, while the remaining 23 ensure timely payments to suppliers. Delays are still common across all regions, and payments are timely in only one-third of the economies measured. For example, suppliers in the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vanuatu must wait more than six months to receive payment from purchasing entities.

    2. Bid security deposits and performance guarantees.  Bid security deposits ensure serious offers and guarantee  that bidders will not withdraw their bids from the procurement process in an untimely manner. While there is no clear good practice as to the amount that should be requested, there is agreement that it should not be set so high as to hinder participation or so low as to allow frivolous offers. Most economies have bid security and performance guarantee requirements, but they do not always regulate them. In 32 economies where bid security is required by the legal and regulatory framework, there is no provision limiting the discretion of the procuring entity with regard to the amount, which may cause financial uncertainty and can be a burden for suppliers interested in bidding for a public tender. This is the case, for example, in Eritrea, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Myanmar. Similarly, when it comes to performance guarantees, only 77 economies provide the winning bidder with options regarding the form of performance guarantee.

    3. Digitalization of the procurement process. Economies in all regions are implementing reforms to conduct the procurement process online. However, a wide gap remains between economies that do not yet have an online portal dedicated to public procurement and other economies that have sophisticated e-procurement platforms that offer a range of services (and economies in between that offer limited  information). Twenty-six of the 180 economies measured, including Belize, Djibouti, Grenada, and Malawi, do not have an electronic portal specifically dedicated to public procurement. The lack of such a portal means that suppliers may not have access to procurement opportunities and associated information. Disparities in information (information asymmetries) between the parties in a procurement process can give some parties an unfair advantage. Information and communications technology (ICT) tools can help close information gaps and curb such opportunistic behavior. The amount of information published on the internet differs across economies, even within the same geographical region. In Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, of 30 economies covered in the region, 3 do not publish any procurement-related information besides their procurement laws, while 13 make all procurement-related information available to suppliers.

    4. Complaint mechanisms. The existence of a fair and  transparent complaints mechanism bestows confidence  in the procurement process because it increases the likelihood that the procurement will be carried out in a more impartial and transparent manner. While disgruntled bidders should have the right to file a complaint at any stage of the procurement process (both before and after the award is granted), this possibility is not always built into the procurement process. In 10 economies (Antigua and Barbuda, El Salvador, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Peru, Qatar, Samoa, and the West Bank and Gaza), the legal framework does not even contemplate the possibility of filing a complaint before a contract is awarded. Bidders must wait until the tendering process is concluded to protest any irregularity. This may limit the effectiveness of corrective measures that the review body can take.

    5. Time needed to resolve complaints. Timely resolution of complaints, as well as the presence of legal time limits, increases the private sector’s trust in the system and encourages its participation in public tendering. Not only must suppliers be confident that their complaints will be resolved without delay, but they should also be assured that their protest will be given an appropriate amount of time to be reviewed. The time needed for review bodies to issue decisions differs greatly, ranging from 2 to 450 days. Moreover, the time needed for review decisions to be issued is not correlated with the income level of the economies. Even in OECD high-income economies, delays occur. It can take as long as 360 days for review decisions to be rendered in Luxembourg, and 450 days in Ireland. Timeliness and efficient reviews are standard in 36 economies, half of which are in the Europe and Central Asia region, where review bodies generally abide by the time limits set by law.

    – La ficha de España se puede consultar en las págs. 198-199

    – Ver documento: Benchmarking-Public-Procurement-2017