The National Agency for Integrity (ANI), in the first quarter of 2021, issued six integrity warnings to prevent conflicts of interest in connection with public procurement procedures amounting to approximately 3.2 million euros.According to a press release on Tuesday, between January and March 2021, ANI analyzed, through the PREVENT computer system, in trying to prevent such conflicts of interests, a number of 3,462 public procurement procedures.
Of these procedures, approximately 27pct refer to agreements financed through European funds. At the same time, approximately one third of the total procedures contain 16,156 subsequent agreements.
During the same period, six integrity warnings were issued in a total amount of 15.9 million lei (approximately 3.2 million euros). In the PREVENT analysis, data and information regarding 1,043 contracting authorities, 7,677 economic operators and 109,795 representatives of public institutions and tenderers were taken into account.
Since the launch of the PREVENT system (June 2017) and until now, 133 integrity warnings have been issued for potential conflicts of interest in public procurement procedures in a total amount of over 1.35 billion lei (over 274 million euros).
Potential conflicts of interest signaled by the system refer to public procurement procedures carried out by contracting authorities representing ministries, public institutions at central and local level, administrative-territorial units, autonomous administrations, as well as companies in which the state is the majority shareholder. Of these, in about 98pct of cases, the heads of the contracting authorities removed the causes that generated the conflicts of interest, and in two cases ANI initiated the conflict of interest assessment procedure ex officio, as these cases were not eliminated.
Also, between June 2017 and March 2021, the PREVENT system analyzed, in order to detect potential conflicts of interest, 66,293 public procurement procedures. Of these, about 15pct refer to contracts financed by European funds. At the same time, one third of these procedures contain a total of 291,058 subsequent agreements. In 62 cases, ANI notified the National Agency for Public Procurement (ANAP) for possible irregularities in public procurement procedures.
The PREVENT system was launched at the end of June 2017 in order to prevent conflicts of interest in the procedure for awarding public procurement agreements by establishing an ex-ante verification mechanism, from the perspective of situations that may generate conflicts of interest in the initiated procedures through the electronic public procurement system, so that they can be removed without affecting the respective procedures.
Specifically, this prevention mechanism involves the analysis of data and information entered in the Integrity Form by the responsible person within the contracting authority by interconnecting the PREVENT system with relevant databases (National Trade Register Office - ONRC, Directorate for the Registration of Persons and Database Management - DEPABD).
The novelty of the PREVENT system is given by the fact that it can automatically identify the presumed relationships that may exist between persons from the contracting authority and persons from economic operators who have the quality of bidders within the procurement procedures initiated by an authority/contracting party.
In case of a possible conflict of interest, ANI issues an integrity warning, and the contracting authority must take all measures to eliminate the possible conflict of interest issued by the PREVENT system.