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New public procurement act likely to come into effect later than expected

Hungary's new public procurement act is likely to come into effect later than the July 1 date stipulated in the government's Szell Kalman budget restructuring plan as broad social and professional consultations are taking place on the issue, head of the Public Procurement Council Robert Gajdos said on Monday, speaking at a press conference of Transparency International (TI) Magyarorszag.

Transparency International held the press conference in order to present the findings of its study analysing the institution of public procurement in Hungary and the rules restraining competition.

If the Public Procurement Council were to be subordinated to the government with the new act, the government would have a chance to influence the Public Procurement Arbitration Committee through the Council, Peter Tausz, the official in charge of the research, said.

According to the Procurement Managers' Club, around HUF 100 billion could be saved a year with a public procurement act requiring responsible management of public funds.

Transparency International Managing Director Adam Foldes said public procurements constitute the second biggest corruption risk after the financing of political parties.

The new draft bill will be discussed by the state secretaries, which can be followed by the professional debate, in which the stakeholder social organisations can express their views as well, the head of the Public Procurement Council said.