The bidding grievance (complaint) handling mechanism needed to be renovated to ensure transparency and keep pace with the country’s rapid international integration, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dao Quang Thu.
Thu addressed an international workshop on independent procurement grievance handling mechanisms in Vietnam co-organized by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank in Hanoi on June 14.
An international workshop on independent procurement grievance handling mechanisms in Vietnam--Photo: Internet
The workshop was an opportunity for policymakers to study international practices in grievance handling mechanism so as to put forth amendments to the bidding regulations towards compliance with modern practices.
Thu said that grievance handling mechanisms in Vietnam revealed shortcomings, while the country’s rapid international integration required more transparency in bidding or public procurement.
Former Director of Bidding Management Department Le Van Tang said that it was critical to improve bidding transparency and the economic efficiency of using the state budget.
The 2013 Bidding Law already had significant improvements but still needed to be amended to keep pace with integration, Tang said.
World Bank research shows that public procurement accounts for the biggest proportion of annual government spending, at around 15-20 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries around the world.
In Vietnam, public spending increased from 28.5 percent of GDP in 2001-05 period to 29.73 percent in 2006-10. From 2011-13, the Government tightened spending with an aim to stabilize the macro-economy and curb inflation, but spending remained high at 28.15 percent of GDP.
Tang said that an independent mechanism in grievance handling is critical to ensure transparency and efficiency in public procurement.
Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, Deputy Dean of the International Trade Law Faculty of the Hanoi Law University, said that a number of bidding regulations remain muddled and obscure. “Vietnam needs to review and improve bidding regulations,” Hien said, adding that the foundation of an independent administrative agency for handling grievance should be put into consideration.
Accountability in bidding must also be enhanced, Daniel I. Gordon from George Washington University Law School added.-(VNS/VLLF)