In the past five years direct contracting on the part of the State has increased by 90%, undermining fair competition between suppliers and adequate transparency in the use of public resources.
As the Comptroller General of the Republic points out, although the option to use the mechanism of direct purchase rather than holding a tender is legal, state entities should not abuse its use, as they have been doing in recent years.
The private sector has denounced the "clear abuse on the part of the state by forcing all agencies and public companies to make contracts with each other."
From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations in the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP):
October, 2016.The Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations in the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP), complained to the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM) that the Costa Rican government is using monopolistic practices.
In order to replenish stocks of medicines the Social Security Department will be able to sign contracts directly for amounts up to $500,000.
With the backing of President the Social Security Department (CSS by its initials in Spanish) plans to start signing contracts directly in the next 30 days, after presenting a proposal to the Board of the institution next Tuesday.
There is a striking difference between the offers received by the Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica, in a competition which was held exclusively between state entities in order to avoid mandatory controls on public procurements.
In Costa Rica, there is a new phenomenon not seen before: the illogical is no longer surprising, and, what is worse, the unexplainable is accepted as normal.
Ten advertising agencies have shown interest in obtaining the contract for the international promotion of Panama as a tourist destination.
An article on Prensa.com reports that "... The contract to manage international tourism promotion in the country has generated interest from major foreign advertising agencies. To date, the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) has received 10 proposals and it is expected that this number will increase in the coming weeks. "
Transparency International believes that the bill currently under discussion is insufficient to prevent corruption in the state procurement system.
According to the Panamanian chapter of Transparency International, the bill on public procurement in the country should include aspects such as making public the annual action plan to further reduce discretion to recruit directly, eliminating the possibility of "addenda which is harmful to the interests of the State " or improving the process of paying bills.
Direct procurement of works, goods and services for the operation and expansion of prisons in the country has been allowed.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security may, in the next 12 months, sign direct contracts without putting out to tender all kinds of works, goods and services for the improvement, operation and expansion of prison infrastructure.
A contract has been awarded, directly, for ground support and flight dispatch, amid questions about the procurement process not being followed correctly.
Arguing that this is to do with a business operating contract and not a concession, criticism from the authorities of the Autonomous Executive Port Commission were defended. Although the company had promoted the tender in March 05/2015 "Selecting two operators to provide the service of ground support and flight dispatch of aircraft to airlines and general aviation", the procurement was made without following the Law on Procurement of Public Administration (LACAP).
The comptroller has annulled the process under which the Ministry of Public Works of Costa Rica sought to build its office building, and authorized it to make another contract if they are able to justify it.
From a statement issued by the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR):
CGR cancels contracting of MOPT Building
Through resolution R-DCA-755-2015 (attached), the Division of Administrative Contracting at the CGR resolved the appeal filed by the companies EDIFICAR, S.A., EDICA LIMITADA, ESTRUCTURAS, S.A., CONSTRUCTORA NAVARRO Y AVILES, S.A. against the act to award a direct contract 2015CD-000250-32900, promoted by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for the "Structural design and construction of the first stage of a building for the headquarters of the MOPT, San Jose, prefabricated concrete building system," awarded to the company Eurobau SA, in the amount of ¢6,375,000,000.00 (six thousand three hundred seventy-five million colones).
The selected companies Productos de Concreto and the consortium Eurobau-Escosa submitted bids to build the office building for the Ministry of Public Works.
One of the two companies will be selected on Wednesday July 22 with the structural design work starting in August. According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the two companies' proposals specify completing the work within eight months.
The Central American Business Council is a London-based organisation which is working to increase significantly the current levels of trade and investment between the UK and Central America.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Central America and Dominican Republic
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Reveal Real Estate is dedicated to improving the transparency of the international real estate market in Central America by putting data in the hands of consumers.
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