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Political parties’ sponsors more successful in public tenders

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Prague, July 13 (CTK) – Czech companies which sponsor parties gain public orders more often than the rest in not quite transparent tenders, according to a study drawn up by the think tank IDEA of the CERGE-EI institute, its authors Jan Palguta and Filip Pertold told journalists on Wednesday.

They worked with the data on the procurement between January 2007 and late 2013, published in the Public Procurement Bulletin.

The financial volume of over 56,000 tenders put up through 4500 national, regional and local authorities was worth roughly 1.385 billion crowns.

The authors presume that the total volume of the public means spent on public orders had been at least double because they had been put up in the form of legislative exceptions or within small-sized orders. These are not compulsorily published in the bulletin.

According to the gained data of the study, the donors received more than 9,250 orders or 16.3 percent of the total number in the period under observation.

Their financial value was roughly 230 billion crowns, on average almost 33 billion a year.

About 3,500 private corporations donated 764 million crowns to parties in the period, Palguta said.

The study shows that in an open tender, the most transparent way of procurement, the companies sponsoring parties only gained 30 percent of public orders.

When it comes to the companies that did not sponsor anyone, they gained 39 percent of the orders in the open tenders.

The differences between “donors” and “non-donors” were obvious in other statistics, Palguta said.

“The analysis of the types of tenders produced perhaps the most serious finding: the sponsors of parties were gaining the orders much more often in less transparent ways of procurement,” he added.

“This is so even if we compared the deliverers with the same legal form, number of employees, in the same institutional sector and segment of the orders,” Palguta said.

The “donors” succeeded most often in gaining orders in the construction industry. They also involved a larger volume of money.

The think tank representatives are cautious when evaluating the reasons of why the sponsors of parties gain the orders primarily in the less transparent forms of public tenders.

They allow for corruption, but also say that the companies that are more successful have a bigger chance of giving gifts.

“We do not want to claim that corruption must be behind this, but this is something about which we should seriously think,” Pertold said.

The state should think of how to change the system, he added.

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