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Moldova introduces EBRD, WTO-backed electronic procurement system

Moldova introduces EBRD, WTO-backed electronic procurement system EBRD

CHISINAU (Moldova), October 24 (SeeNews) - Moldova on Wednesday launched - with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Trade Organization - an electronic procurement system which will radically transform the way public funds are spent.

The new system, called MTender, was implemented by Moldova's finance ministry and will provide full transparency, openness and accountability in a major step in the fight against corruption, the EBRD said in a press release.

In addition, the benefits of e-procurement include improvements in market access and competition, promotion of integrity, reduced information costs and easier access to information.

The project started in February 2016 and costs 1.2 million euro ($1.4 million), provided by the EU under its EuropeAid programme.

The new electronic procurement system has been introduced in all key central government ministries and 100 subordinated entities. It follows the creation, introduction and adoption of the required technical and legal framework with active support by the EBRD and the European Union.

The joint project covered the preparation of the eProcurement reform concept, of the implementation plan, of a draft primary legislation as well as assistance with drafting relevant secondary legislation and with the preparation and delivery of eProcurement training. Also, it required the provision of policy, regulatory and business advice.

The launch is the beginning of a gradual roll-out with the aim to keep the reform momentum going for a radical overhaul of the system, in line with international best practice in governance and public administration, the EBRD said. The involvement of civil society will play an important role to further safeguard the delivery.

The EBRD’s engagement in this field goes back to the bank’s support for Moldova’s effort to join the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement, which was achieved in May 2016. Building on this, the EBRD, which has also adopted these rules itself, was requested to support the next big step, eProcurement.

The EBRD noted that it considers full transparency and accountability a major component of an efficient and clean administration. In addition, a state-of-the-art eProcurement system is also a major element in mobilising investment by improving the business environment, the bank said.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova. Since the start of its operations in the country, the bank has invested close to 1.3 billion euro in more than 120 projects in Moldova’s financial, agribusiness, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

($= 0.8758 euro)