Prishtina, March 1, 2019 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo voices its concerns regarding the favorable treatment of publicly owned enterprises, through erroneous implementation of the in-house purchase provisions, whereby the public authorities are purchasing services from publicly owned enterprises, in contradiction to the constitutional provisions, Law on Public Procurement, and the Stabilization-Association Agreement.
This erroneous practice which threatens equal treatment of publicly and privately owned enterprises derives from a wrongful interpretation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission on Article 9.4 of the Public Procurement Law, which provides that if the contracting authority is a public authority, such public authority shall take reasonable measures to ensure that objects meeting such needs are not available from another public authority.
However, AmCham emphasizes that publicly owned enterprises should in no way be considered as “public authorities”, therefore, purchasing of their services by contracting authorities through “in-house procurement provisions” should be interrupted as it threatens fair competition.
Favorable treatment of publicly owned enterprises as per the aforementioned terms is in contradiction to the basic principles of market economy and free competition, regulated under articles 10 and 119 of the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo.
In addition, Article 13 of the Law on Publicly Owned Enterprises clearly provides that all publicly owned enterprises, with no exception, shall be subject to laws, regulations and sublegal acts, which regulate private business organizations.
As stated above, the American Chamber of Commerce calls on all public authorities to interrupt the erroneous practice of favoring publicly owned enterprises, recalling that it is the responsibility of the public authorities are responsible to provide level playing field for all economic operators, public and private, through rightful implementation of the laws and Constitution.