The Platform of Civil Society Organizations for Fight Against Corruption expresses concern over the low level of transparency of the process by which the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia arranges the construction of the highway sections of Corridors 8 and 10.
From the information available to the public, no justification can be determined for the announced conclusion of a direct contract for the implementation of infrastructure projects without applying the Law on Public Procurement. For us as citizens it is extremely important that the whole process be transparent from the announcement to the conclusion of the contract, to enable participation and equal treatment of all interested companies, to provide legal protection to all participants in the procedure and of course what is especially important to enable supervision of the entire procedure by the competent institutions, the interested professional public and the citizens.
The application of a special legal solution (lex specialis) is a bad way of managing capital investments because it prevents competition between economic entities from the country and abroad and usually carries an increased risk of prices higher than the market. Such actions can seriously violate the principles of good governance and lead to possible abuses.
At the same time, one of the key arguments presented to the public by government representatives in defence of the concept of applying a special legal solution and concluding a direct contract for construction of highway sections were the negative consequences of the construction of the highway section Kicevo – Ohrid. However, we point out that exactly this agreement was concluded without applying the Law on Public Procurement and with the adoption of a special law.
Having in mind all of the above, the Platform of Civil Society Organizations for Fight against Corruption requests from the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia to abandon the concept of direct negotiation and the planning of large infrastructure projects to be implemented publicly, and the realization of projects in a competitive and transparent procedure.
—————————————————29 April 2021