Will NEN meet IZIP Project’s fate?
Monday´s Comment
Will NEN meet IZIP Project’s fate?
25. 4. 2016

The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) said in a report earlier in the week that the National Electronic Instrument (NEN), which cost almost a quarter of billion crowns and should have ushered more transparency into the public procurement process and bring annual savings amounting up to 50 billion CZK a year, had not led to the expected savings, let alone transparency as desired . The contracting authorities rarely use it, since its application by public procurement principals is not legally sanctioned. In the first two months of “live” application, only seven (!) public orders were called via the system; subsequently the number of registered contracting authorities increased, but many of them use the NEN solely for publishing information. Moreover, the project has been marked by very dubious circumstances, including a long delay in its implementation and disregard shown in the terms and conditions of the public procurement act. Reading the NKÚ inspection report, one cannot resist a déjà vu feeling. Indeed a close similarity with the IZIP project instantly springs to mind: the absence of provision on compulsory implementation, problematic realization, exorbitant costs, and zero or very low effectiveness of these projects are quite similar. I find it hard to believe that a situation like this could recur after the adverse experience with IZIP. I don’t know if one should talk about the state administration’s unpreparedness to manage ICT projects, or an intention, but on the face of historical experience I believe b) is right. But there is a glimmer of hope, as the Ministry for Regional Development plans to close extant electronic market-places and replace them by NEN, by 2017.

The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) said in a report earlier in the week that the National Electronic Instrument (NEN), which cost almost a quarter of billion crowns and should have ushered more transparency into the public procurement process and bring annual savings amounting up to 50 billion CZK a year, had not led to the expected savings, let alone transparency as desired[1]. The contracting authorities rarely use it, since its application by public procurement principals is not legally sanctioned. In the first two months of “live” application, only seven (!) public orders were called via the system; subsequently the number of registered contracting authorities increased, but many of them use the NEN solely for publishing information. Moreover, the project has been marked by very dubious circumstances, including a long delay in its implementation and disregard shown in the terms and conditions of the public procurement act.

Reading the NKÚ inspection report, one cannot resist a déjà vu feeling. Indeed a close similarity with the IZIP project instantly springs to mind: the absence of provision on compulsory implementation, problematic realization, exorbitant costs, and zero or very low effectiveness of these projects are quite similar. I find it hard to believe that a situation like this could recur after the adverse experience with IZIP. I don’t know if one should talk about the state administration’s unpreparedness to manage ICT projects, or an intention, but on the face of historical experience I believe b) is right. But there is a glimmer of hope, as the Ministry for Regional Development plans to close extant electronic market-places and replace them by NEN, by 2017.

In 2015, the Anticorruption Endowment filed a suit over the NEN project case. Interestingly, our complaint pointed out virtually the same problems as the NKÚ. Let’s wait and see how the police will evaluate our suspicions. It will be also interesting to see what happens to NEN after 2017.

[1] Source: http://www.nku.cz/assets/kon-zavery/k15010.pdf

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News
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    The NKÚ said in a report earlier in the week that the NEN, which cost almost a quarter of billion crowns and should have ushered more transparency into the public procurement process, had not led to the expected savings, let alone transparency as desired[
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