Program to Strengthen Ukrainian Civil Society’s Role in Monitoring Public Procurement Launches on 24 January in Kyiv

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) and the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) announced the launch of a two-year program to strengthen the capacity  of Ukrainian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to monitor public procurement of goods and services, particularly using the ProZorro e-procurement platform rolled out by the Government of Ukraine in 2016. A launch event took place on 24 January 2017 at the Premier Palace Hotel.

Increasing transparency and reducing corruption in public procurement is a top priority for the government, which enacted a new procurement law in early 2016. Development of the ProZorro e-procurement platform was spearheaded by Transparency International Ukraine (TI) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and is now widely used. It has been supported by EBRD, the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) and many other international and Ukrainian institutions, both public and private.

Even prior to the introduction of ProZorro, several CSOs in Ukraine have been monitoring procurement on a case by case basis and have had significant successes in areas such as medical supplies, medicines and railway equipment. The new system will make it easier for CSOs operating in Kiev and at the regional/municipal level to monitor procurement in all of its phases, but training will be necessary to enhance their ability to do so in an informed and responsible manner.

Monitoring procurement requires technical knowledge of the procurement process as well as a good understanding of the legal and institutional environment in which procurement decisions are made. The program, which complements CSO training provided by TI and an EU funded project, will provide such training. It will help CSOs and journalists identify irregularities and bring evidence-based reports of abuse to the attention of the responsible authorities.

“CSO monitoring of procurement is in its infancy worldwide,” said Lars Jeurling, PTF Program Manager. “With ProZorro now up and running, Ukrainian CSOs have an opportunity to be at the cutting edge and become models for CSOs in other countries.”

Public procurement is one of the most critical aspects of good governance in Ukraine, where the involvement of civil society can add real value in terms of enhancing transparency and addressing corruption. The EBRD-supported project aims to ensure that public procurement is appropriately monitored by enhancing the capacity of CSOs.

The program is expected to have an impact beyond analyzing and publicizing findings of monitoring, giving CSOs tools to engage and influence government action to reduce corruption and inefficiencies.

About the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established to help build a new, post-Cold War era in Central and Eastern Europe. It has since played a historic role and gained unique expertise in fostering change in the region – and beyond. The EBRD is owned by 65 countries from five continents, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank.

About the Partnership for Transparency Fund
The Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) and its European affiliate, PTF e. V., work to promote transparent, accountable and effective government through citizen-led action. The goal is to pilot and scale-up innovative approaches and tools that work. PTF draws important lessons from each of these experiences and shares the resulting knowledge widely to advance the global fight against corruption. In its more than 16 years of operation, PTF has supported over 260 projects in 60 countries, with high impact. A number of these have been in former Soviet Union countries and countries in Eastern Europe.

About the Kyiv School of Economics
The Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) is among the top schools in Central and Eastern Europe, preparing the next generation of world-class economists. KSE has been selected by PTF as its local Ukrainian partner for implementation of the training program for the Ukrainian civil society organizations within the project “Improving Transparency and Effectiveness of Public Procurement in Ukraine through Cooperation with Civil Society” funded by EBRD and PTF.