UNODC recommends open, e-procurement contracting for transparent emergency procurements
Kaieteur News – To promote transparent and accountable public medical emergency procurement, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), encourages open contracting and e-procurement. The organization sought to outline a number of potential pollution risks associated mainly with the acquisition and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, and general medical procurement in a report entitled: “COVID-19 ACTIVITIES AND RISK RISKS: PREVENTING INTRODUCTION IN MANUFACTURING, VACCINES ALLOCATION AND DISTRIBUTION. “.
He confirmed that while corruption scandals in the field of procurement are widespread, in the healthcare sector, the acquisition of pharmaceuticals and medical devices is particularly prone to corruption and the pollution can most likely occur in the pre-offer, bidding and post-offer stages.
UNODC in its report asked that open contracting could be effective in reducing said corruption, as it equips the public with vital information such as, what is being bought, at what price and quantity, as well as who is the selected supplier.
He added that with e-procurement, efforts to tackle corruption can be more efficient as it allows for the “public dissemination of relevant data, such as bidding and awarding contracts through a dedicated website, thereby ensuring ‘ r the element of transparency ”. According to the United Nations organization, “Public procurement frameworks can also help promote transparency and reduce the risk of buying from illegal suppliers in times of crisis.”
Furthermore, it was said that in a public health crisis, the risks of corruption in procurement are amplified by the urgency of a country’s needs, the flexibility and speed required for the delivery of that product, which creates the opportunity for discretion individual that may increase further. the risk of pollution.
The report revealed that, at the pre-bid stage, corruption risks including estimates for demand for a particular product were incorrectly made, avoiding public tendering procedures and officials tailoring tender documents to favor a particular bidder. The report further highlighted that, at the bidding stage, there is a high risk that government officials will receive bribes or compensation from suppliers.
Taking everything that has been mentioned, the UNODC made sure that it states that the European Union has published a guidance document, with various options and flexibility according to its public procurement framework, for the purchase of supplies, services, and work related to responding to the COVID -19 pandemic.
“Finally, governments can also turn to COVAX, the COVID-19 Equipment Access Accelerator (ACT) vaccine pillar, which is co-led by WHO, the Coalition of Epidemic Readiness Innovation, and Gavi. COVAX aims to accelerate research and development and equitable distribution of diagnostics, drugs and vaccines against COVID-19, ”the report noted. He added that using COVAX can help governments buy safe and effective vaccines, for example, through its combined procurement mechanism for the participating countries.
Notably, Guyana is part of the COVAX mechanism and has so far received 24,000 doses; however, that quota has been free of cost. The Government of Guyana has been exploring several options for more vaccines including bilateral and multilateral negotiations and direct commitments with vaccine suppliers.