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PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY: COMPETITION, TRANSPARENCY ENSURED IN HUNGARY

 

Competition and transparency are guaranteed in Hungary’s public procurement procedures, the public procurement authority has said in connection with the European Commission’s move to activate the rule-of-law mechanism against Hungary. In a statement, the authority said the EC had used “distorted data” when compiling its statistics on public procurements. The authority said the EC’s database on public procurements was not suitable for making comparisons between member states, arguing that many EU countries often fail to publish the results of their public procurement tenders in the EU’s official gazette TED. It said the commission had acknowledged that Hungary devoted special attention to publishing its public procurement data. The authority said it had pointed out the problem of missing data from other member states to the EC in 2018, 2019 and 2020 but had yet to receive a substantive response. Though the EC’s statistics indicate a high share of public procurement procedures in Hungary with a single bidder, the body’s Single Market Scoreboard clearly shows that “this is not just a Hungarian problem”, and that the situation is similar in 19 member states, the statement said. According to the EC’s data, the share of single-bid procedures in Hungary (39%) was lower than the same share in Romania (41%), Greece (42%), the Czech Republic (43%), Slovenia (47%) and Poland (51%), the authority said, adding that the EC had not launched rule-of-law procedures against those countries. The authority said the fact that some 5,000 bidders participate in public procurement procedures each year, of which around 3,500 are awarded contracts, indicated that there was open competition in Hungary’s public procurements.