Many nations lack standstill period for public sector suppliers

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
22 October 2015

More than half of countries do not provide a ‘standstill’ period that enables unsuccessful suppliers to file a complaint following the award of a public sector contract.

According to analysis by the World Bank, which examined public procurement processes in 77 nations, a period of grace that allows a vendor to challenge an award is either not provided or is fewer than the internationally-recognised minimum of 10 days.

Of the 25 nations sampled on this point, seven provided no standstill period, nine allowed between one and nine days, and the remaining nine provided 10 days or more.

The seven countries to provide no standstill period were Bahrain, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Lebanon, Moldova and Sierra Leone.

The Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016 report also found most of the nations analysed have at least one failing when it comes to transparency in their public procurement regulations.

Furthermore, the study found the time taken for a review body to investigate and decide on a complaint varies wildly. Some 12 of the 27 countries selected, including the UK, do not set a time limit for a decision. While in Brazil suppliers can expect a decision to be made within seven days, in Lebanon, where there is no deadline, firms can wait up to two years for their grievance to be judged.

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