Public Purchases: YES, to Transparency

Costa Rican businessmen support efforts to avoid changes to the bill being discussed in the Legislative Assembly, which originally seeks to stop abuses in hiring directly by public entities.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The issue has become increasingly important in the country, as at the end of July the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Business Sector (UCCAEP) said in a statement that in direct contracts there is no guarantee that really is giving the best use to public funds, as there are indications of lack of transparency in contracts. Some of them have even been declared confidential.

The bill "Law to Combat Abusive Use" is currently being discussed in the Assembly. the original text of which seeks to stop abuses in direct contracting.

However, some days ago there were motions to the bill, which threaten the transparency of public contracting processes, in the opinion of some deputies.

From the CRECEX statement:

San José, October 21, 2019. The Chamber of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica and Representatives of Foreign Houses (CRECEX), supports Congressman Heriberto Abarca in his effort to avoid changes to law plan 21.014, which seeks to curb abuses in direct contracts between public entities.

The previous week there were motions to the bill "Law to Combat the Abusive Use of Administrative Contracts between Public Entities," centered on Article 2 of the Law, although the text was endorsed by the General Comptroller of the Republic (CGR).

According to Abarca, this article has been used by institutions to justify direct hiring using the exception mechanism.

For José Manuel Quirce, president of CRECEX, the Christian social deputy is right to express concern about the approved motion, which, according to the congressman, makes the exception the rule.



"Some deputies are trying to resume the discussion that had already been overcome in the Economic Commission, which reappears the risk of abuses in business between state companies, to the detriment of private enterprise, even leaving out the possibility of supervision of the Comptroller's Office," Quirce warned. For the president of the Chamber, it is necessary to apply best practices to guarantee transparency and fight against corruption, overpricing and other anomalies that end up affecting the public treasury.

Abarca has denounced that under this modality of exception, between 2016-2018, more than $420 million (some ¢250,000 million) were contracted, even applying outsourcing mechanisms in cases in which the public entity did not have the experience required by the contract obtained.

In his social networks, the congressman announced that he will reiterate a motion to return to the original version of the bill. The discussion will be resumed Tuesday in the Economic Committee.

¿Busca soluciones de inteligencia comercial para su empresa?

Are you interested in tenders in the region?

Receive daily alerts about major purchases by governments in Central America.

Find out more:









this site is protected by reCAPTCHA and Google's privacy policy and terms of service.
Need assistance? Contact us
(506) 4001-6423


More on this topic

Lack of Transparency in Public Purchasing

July 2019

For the business sector in Costa Rica, the large number of direct contracts between state institutions implies a number of defects and abuses in the use of public funds.

The employers' guild is of the opinion that in direct contracting there is no guarantee that the best use is actually being made of public funds, and there are indications of a lack of transparency in contracts.

Panama: Law on State Purchases

April 2016

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.

Changes to Public Procurement Act

February 2016

Changes to the management of "turnkey" contracts and elimination of abbreviated tenders are part of the changes included in the bill which has already been approved by the Executive in Panama.

The bill was sent by the government to the National Assembly, where it will be discussed for approval.

Panama: Controversial Changes to Public Procurement Law

October 2015

The bill to be discussed in the Assembly proposes removing the changes that were made during the Martinelli administration that were intended to streamline and simplify procurement processes.

The draft law which will be discussed by the National Assembly in a first debate, proposes eliminating, among other things, procedures for abbreviated and best value procurements, and increasing funds for appeals.

ok