The promotion of fair competition in public procurement procedures is considered a public interest. Consequently, repulsing public procurement cartels is a primary goal of both the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) and the Közbeszerzési Hatóság (KH - Public Procurement Authority). Currently, the GVH raises the awareness of potential tenderers and awarding contracting authorities of the risks of cartels and provides guidance on how such cartels should be dealt with via its “daily tips”, which are available on the “Daily public procurement” application of the KH.
The “Daily public procurement” application is the KH’s news channel, which provides daily updates for those who are interested in public procurement. Since its launch on 9 May 2017 more than 4000 users have downloaded the application, which can be downloaded free of charge both on Android and iOS devices.
In the “Daily-tip” menu point the GVH will be providing tips on a weekly basis for the next year. The short pieces of practical advice for contracting authorities and tenderers will be based on the two descriptive booklets of the GVH, which are also available in the menu point of “Daily good practice”. A push notification message is sent to the subscribers of the Daily-tip heading when a new tip is published.
The first tip of the GVH also conveys the basic message of the whole series:
Tip for contracting authorities: Public procurement cartels are also harmful to you!
Public procurement cartels increase the prices of the projects to be carried out and worsen the quality of them. In the absence of a cartel you can get more and better quality for the same amount of money.
Fight against the cartels!
For further details, see the brochure entitled “Public procurement suspected of cartel activities?’’ issued by the competition authority for contracting authorities.
The above-mentioned descriptive booklet entitled “Public procurement suspected of cartel activities?” helps the contracting authorities to recognise cartels and to support the GVH's investigations, as well assists awarding contracting authorities to create an unfavourable tendering environment for cartels. The- „How to stay clean?” titled booklet helps small and medium sized tendering enterprises to avoid engaging in cartel behaviour in public procurements.
The mentioned booklets and tips of the GVH are aimed at developing competition culture in connection with cartels. The GVH launched a communication campaign against cartels with the slogan “It cannot be kept secret”in 2015 and also created a microsite to enhance the education’s efficiency. As part of this campaign it also introduced an innovative contact option, known as the CartelChat.
Making the GVH tips and two of its booklets available on the KH’s mobile phone application is one of the forward-looking examples of cooperation between the two authorities. The KH also wants to provide other authorities with an opportunity to publish valuable content through its “Daily public procurement” news channel supporting the public procurement profession, however, it must be emphasised that this opportunity can only be taken advantage of after prior agreement has been obtained from the KH.
Budapest, 3 January 2018