Guatemala: Improved Transparency in Government Procurements

In the first seven months of the Morales administration government purchases executed 'by exception' decreased by 97% compared to the same period in 2015.

Monday, August 29, 2016

An article on Agn.com.gt reports that "... According to the System for Procurement and Contracts (Guatecompras), from January to July this year central government institutions made 21 awards using the exception process, while in the same period in 2015 706 purchases were made using this format."

This contrasts sharply with the widespread practice in previous governments, whose abuse of the procurement system without calling for public tenders, favored corruption, discouraging competition by preventing market participation by companies that were outside of the circle of cronyism of those administrations.

"... Acquisitions made by exception raise questions because the process is fast and discretionary, since this format is used in the case of emergency situations such as environmental disasters that need urgent responses."

"... This form of purchasing goods exonerates several guidelines that other methods of purchases include, such as setting thresholds, submission of tenders online, electronic launches and calls. This year the entities that have purchased goods or services by exception are the ministries of Public Health and Nutrition (2) Welfare (6), Interior (5), Communications, Infrastructure and Housing (2) Agriculture, Livestock and and the Judicial (2) Agency, among others. In 2016 12,327 contests were awarded in the categories of direct purchase, direct purchase due to the absence of bids, open contract, international conventions and treaties, quotes, public tender and exception. "

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