The businessman informed us through Bizprotect.am that he was required to pay for the state procurement tender. In particular, he anonymously wrote through the site: “The system requires 50,000 AMD for participation in public procurement tenders. Shall small or medium businesses pay or not?”
It should be noted that on 7 July, the RA Law on Whistleblowing System was adopted. The law envisages the creation of an anonymous information platform in 2018. However, within the framework of the “Evidence-based Advocacy for Reform” project, Bizprotect.am website has already been created. This is a platform to tackle any issues, risks and problems that hinder the business sector, including corruption. The website also provides opportunity to inform about a problem anonymously. Relevant steps are taken to verify the authenticity of these reports and to provide solutions.
Mariam Zadoyan, the Project Lawyer said that a note on this issue had been sent to the Ministry of Finance. Deputy Minister Armen Hayrapetyan replied, that pursuant to Article 7, Paragraph 1 of the Law on Procurement any person, irrespective of whether he is a foreign natural person, an entity or a stateless person has the right to participate in the procurement process. Under Part 2 of the same Article, the participation of a resident of any country in the procurement process may be restricted only by the decision of the RA Government if it is necessary for the purpose to ensure national security and protection.
“Please note that no fees are charged for participation in procurement processes and participation of any person in the procurement process may be restricted only if the above-mentioned basis exists,” the Deputy Minister replied.
At the same time, the ministry reported that if it concerns the provision of services offered by mediator organizations to support the organizations to participate in procurement processes, we state that each person decides on its own whether to take advantage of the proposed service or not.