One more step on the path of environmental improvement in Ukraine was made on April 13. Experts and practitioners have gathered together to discuss the current situation with public procurement, as well as approaches to improve this mechanism in both public and private sectors.
This meeting was initiated by NGO GoLOCAL, which in 2017 together with its Slovak colleagues launched the project “Transferring Experience with Green Public Procurement in Slovakia to Ukraine”.
Representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the State Enterprise “ProZorro”, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the Government Office for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, the National Agency of Ukraine for Civil Service, the Bila Tserkva City Council and the NGO GoLOCAL participated in the meeting, as well as representatives of other government bodies, interested in implementing the GPP approach.
During the discussion it became clear that in recent years the situation at the state level has significantly changed for the better. For the moment and till the end of 2019 relevant authorities are implementing the Public Procurement Reforming Strategy for GPP. Officials also work upon a new version of the Law of Ukraine “On Public Procurement”, which will specify the environmental criteria for products’ selection and products’ selection with due regard to the life cycle cost.
In the near future the draft of the “State Environmental Policy Strategy of Ukraine by 2030” will be passed to the Government of Ukraine for discussion and further approval. If the Strategy is approved, the Government is expected to develop and pass a Plan of measures aimed at Strategy’s implementation; in particular, this means a series of measures aimed at developing the application of environmental criteria in the public procurement system.
In addition, the Ministry of Environment is conducting consultations with the European Commission on the implementation of the 4EU Environment project, one of the components of which will be the development of green (sustainable) public procurement.
At the same time, the participants of the meeting have noted that there are many issues that should be solved when applying the provisions of the legislation on GPP. The first problem is that the employees directly involved in the public procurement process do not have sufficient information, knowledge and skills to use the GPP. Another problem is the uncertainty of the current Ukrainian legislation. For example, in the Law of Ukraine “On Public Procurement” there is an article that regulate the content and completeness of tender documentation, but there are no valid and binding explanations in which way the provisions of this specific article should be implemented, etc.
However, the representatives of state authorities have stated that there are ways to solve the mentioned issues. For example, the Ministry of Economic Development considers the appropriateness to approve additionally recommendations relative to the selection of environmental criteria (environmental measures relating to the procurement subject), referring to environmental standards, labeling and methodologies; and also examples for calculating the life cycle cost of products in various categories.
The relevant information may be included on the web-resourcehttps://prozorro.gov.ua/as technical specifications for the procurement subject, including environmental criteria; examples of calculating the life cycle cost and, in fact, as the online course developed by NGO GoLOCAL.
Svitlana Berzina, the external expert on the project “Transferring Experience with Green Public Procurement in Slovakia to Ukraine”, implemented by GoLOCAL NGO, Slovak Center for Communication and Development (Slovakia) and financially supported by the SlovakAid (Slovak Development Agency), has presented the online course content to the audience.
Thus, the course will consist of 3 lecture modules, each one designed for 1 week of online education. At the end of each module, the course attendant is offered to complete tasks to test the knowledge gained during the week.
Lecture Module 1 – “Policy, principles and methods of green procurement”. This module covers the following topics:
– concept: “public procurement”, “product life cycle”;
– definition of “responsible consumption” as one of the global goals of sustainable development of the United Nations;
– Ukraine’s commitments under the Association Agreement with the EU;
– legislative consolidation of environmental values and principles of sustainable consumption and production.
Lecture Module 2 – “Selection Criteria”. This module compares two approaches to the selection of works / goods / services: the traditional approach, based mostly on indicators such as price and quality, and the GPP approach – which amends the price criteria with requirements for environmental protection, health protection and other qualification criteria.
Lecture Module 3 – “Option Criteria”. The module reveals in details the “product life cycle” concept and emphasizes that when selecting products, it is necessary to consider not only the initial distribution of the purchase price of the goods but also all future costs, in particular: purchase price and all related costs (delivery, installation, commissioning, etc.), operating costs (energy or water consumption, fuel, spare parts and maintenance costs), warranty period and service life specified in the manufacturer’s warranties.
Participants of the meeting, who had previously acquainted with the materials of the online training course, have welcomed the initiative: they have positively commented on the course’s content, the structure of the material submission, and have also emphasized the relevance and importance of introducing the course specifically for the employees involved in the public procurement process.
The rest of the participants have obtained access to the course materials, so they would have an opportunity to analyze them and submit their suggestions or comments. All the comments will be considered when finalizing this training course.
“This meeting showed that Ukrainian legislation already has the necessary basis for the use of GPP today. However, it is important to implement several measures to ensure that the mentioned norms would actually work,” have summed up the meeting the NGO’s GoLOCAL director Igor Komendo.
According to his words, first of all it is necessary to take the following steps:
– to pass the Methodical recommendations – a document that would have legal effect to avoid violations, established by the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine and the Audit Chamber of Ukraine, when filling in the tender documentation;
– to develop the relevant Recommendations to the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine to ensure that the tender documentation complies with the requirements of the competition law;
– to carry out customer training on GPP approaches so that they understand value and economic benefits of this approach.
The recommendations for the GPP should take into account the following:
– criteria of technical specifications;
– analysis of market readiness for the selected category of goods (market share of products of the selected category at a competitive price);
– a list of confirmatory documents about the production’s accordance to the established requirements (conclusions, protocols, certificates, environmental markings), typical essential conditions and contractual documents.
“And of course, the online training course developed by our experts will provide a great support to civil servants, especially at regional level. This is an affordable and a very content-based training program on the GPP principle, designed to raise awareness among public servants involved in the procurement process”- have added Igor Komendo.
The list of issues discussed during the meeting, as well as the comments of public authorities can be found here.