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Regulatory scope of bidding law to be expanded

Update: July, 26/2012 - 10:13

HA NOI — The Bidding Law must be expanded to better manage State funds, said Le Van Tang, head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Bidding Management Department.

Urging an amendment to the current seven-year-old law, Tang said the new draft law was expected to be finalised for inclusion on the National Assembly's agenda in October.

The current law provides for a bidding process to select suppliers for State-funded projects including projects related to development investment, infrastructure, production lines and construction by State-owned companies, he said.

However, he said, other new procurements have arisen in practical situations, including spending State fund to invest in projects overseas and bidding to select investors in public-private partnership projects.

The draft compiling team therefore recommended an expansion in the law's regulatory scope to cover all bidding activities of State-owned enterprises and the selection of builders for FDI projects that have at least 30 per cent of their total investment value coming from the State budget.

Accordingly, all procurements by the enterprises including regular spending, purchasing of goods and services should be subject to the Bidding Law. However, Tang said that this point was still controversial.

Some critics of the old law say that enterprises should be empowered to choose they own way to select suppliers for fuels, ingredients and materials.

Meanwhile, others say that the procurement for such goods and services was proportional to the budget of State-owned enterprises.

Tang urged thorough discussion of the issue to avoid cases where authorities did not receive sufficient information on the use of funds.

If enterprises can skip bidding to hire suppliers of materials, the enterprises' leadership must take responsibility for any problems that occur, thus a sanction mechanism is needed, according to other legal experts.

In addition to proposed changes to the law's scope, the draft also targets changes to regulations on selecting investors, contractors, on-line bidding and management of bidding activities and implementation articles. — VNS

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