ICEG INFORMS: FIDIC PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES GUIDE – IN UKRAINE

The Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild (ICEG) has introduced the first FIDIC PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES GUIDE in Ukrainian to public at large.

This is a well-known practical guide for employers, consulting engineers, contractors, financiers and lawyers, which contains globally recognized comprehensive and progressive techniques which will promote holding transparent tendering and concluding quality contracts.

The Guide was presented on April 19 at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center during a round table “International Practice on the Consulting Services in Construction Market in Ukraine”, which was attended by representatives of leading national and foreign engineering companies, international financial institutions, international and national projects and FIDIC accredited trainers.

As noted by Oleksandr Nepomnyashchyy, ICEG President, the publication of FIDIC PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES GUIDE is a landmark event in a row of the Guild’s consecutive actions. In the near future, a translation of the FIDIC Contracts Guide is to be published. Earlier, three methodical guides on construction engineering were published. “Regarding development of engineering services in Ukraine, I can see two interrelated drives: introducing the expertise of technically advanced countries and enhancing the role and activity of professional non-governmental organizations,” he continued.

Giorgiana Tecuci, co-ordinator of the FIDIC Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) group, member of the FIDIC Capacity Building Committee, congratulated the Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild with the release of the Guide and assessed the event as another significant step in the introduction of international best practices in Ukraine and approaches to implementing infrastructure projects. In her opinion, it is important, first of all, to develop a detailed and realistic project strategy for its realisation at all stages. At the same time, the Guide contains detailed procurement guidelines for construction projects of all sizes and complexities.

Svitlana Reva, ICEG Vice-President, informed about the Procurement Guide in more detail. Why was this Guide selected for translation from the entire variety of publications of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers? “First, it provides essential guidance on the underlying concepts and philosophy of projects for selecting a type of contracts. Second, it provides detailed guidance on each step of the tendering process, sample documents for prequalification and instructions to tenderers. And, as a result, it has the widest range of users in Ukraine: from representatives of the central authorities, heads of the united territorial communities, – to business entities and experts of construction industry”, she informed.

The practical significance of the publication was also confirmed by Anatoliy Berkuta, Vice-President, the Confederation of builders of Ukraine.

In his opinion, the principles and terms of FIDIC contracts should be taken into account when improving the legislation of Ukraine on public procurement. In addition, he noted the positive trends of increasing the responsibility of market entities though the involvement of a consulting engineer as an institution that provides quality project management and independent engineering control, which can, together with other forms of control, ensure the quality of construction products.

The translation initiators state that applying the Guide will help to mitigate corruption risks, improve the regulation efficiency and ensure funds saving during implementation of investment projects.

This is confirmed by the interest in using the Guide and attendance of the round table by representatives of the leading reform projects and initiatives in Ukraine.

As justly noted by Olena Shuliak, Construction Sector Head, Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), the role of public and expert organizations in relation to the impact on the regulatory environment is constantly growing. They have changed from critics and reviewers to the reform initiators. So, with over a thousand regulations revised by BRDO, a third of them need revision. Thus, without replacing the functions of state bodies, experts act as a catalyst for change.  Two successful reforms in Ukraine – decentralization and public procurement – require a professional approach to local tendering procedures. It is here that international experience and the Guide presented today can be helpful.

Oksana Velichko, Coordinator of Together against Corruption government-public initiative, noted the relevance and timeliness of FIDIC Procurement Procedures Guide in Ukrainian in terms of drafting a new version of the public procurement law in Ukraine. After all, procurement is a potentially corrupt process. Therefore, the involvement of a consulting engineer at the earliest stages and during the entire period of the construction project, the application of the principles and approaches to procurement outlined in the Guide, as well as the standard forms of FIDIC contracts, is urgent and essential.  In this regard, she expressed gratitude to FIDIC for their willingness to share the best global achievements, and to ICEG – for the opportunity not to “reinvent the wheel”, but to take advantage of them.

Natalia Forsiuk, Director of the National Secretariat, Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) in Ukraine drew attention to the importance of international cooperation and informed about the CoST activities in monitoring projects in the field of road infrastructure. It is in such projects supported by international financial institutions that FIDIC standard forms of contracts are often used, the distinctive feature of which is the involvement of a consulting engineer. At the same time, the professionalism and integrity of the staff of such an organization are important. It is necessary to improve the image of a consulting engineer as a profession, to ensure professional development and, above all, compliance with the law by all market participants.

The round table participants focused on the problems in implementing infrastructure projects, language and legal barriers in construction funded by IFIs, gaps in terminology and design stages.

The same challenges were faced by the expert team in performing the Guide verification, said Maxim Molchan, representative of EGIS UKRAINE LLC – a branch and a local partner of EGIS GROUP in Ukraine and CIS. More than 150 terms had to be agreed and formed in a glossary, which was used in the translation. The choice of the book, in his opinion, is very successful. It can be used not only for FIDIC contracts. General approaches to procurement planning are attributable to all types of contracts.

The discussion participants recognized that engineering in construction is a commercial activity, and the level of professionalism of services directly depends on the level of their remuneration. However, inflexible procurement system that we currently have in this country makes the prospective contractors resort to dumping, mostly at the cost of quality. Thus, the relevance of implementing global best practice of works and services procurement in construction in Ukraine is clear.

Bernard Semeria, Team Leader of the EU project “Assistance to the Ukrainian Authorities for Improvement of the Infrastructure Cycle Management”, when assessing the procurement system PROZORRO as a great progress in the reform of tender procurement, indicated the problems in the procurement with the use of this system of services in construction (design, construction supervision, engineering consulting services, etc.). Underpricing, with the price being the main criteria, results in poor quality services. In this part, new approaches are needed: to make exceptions for the use of PROZORRO in procuring intellectual services, or to establish features that would allow to apply various criteria, among which the price will not be decisive, said Mr. Semeria.

More on the features of the consulting engineering domestic market was elaborated by Vyacheslav Shandryk, head of VS PROJECT LLC, consulting engineer. He welcomed ICEG efforts in reaching a new level of regulation in construction, which, according to him, will provide an opportunity for employers to receive quality consulting services and will contribute to the market expansion of engineering consulting companies in Ukraine. Translation of FIDIC Procurement Procedures Guide is another step in this direction.

Publication of FIDIC Procurement Procedures Guide first ever in Ukrainian by the Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild can be considered a breakthrough in the information space, artificially limited for the professional community for a long time.

Summing it up, Oleksandr Nepomnyashchyy, ICEG President, thanked everyone involved in the preparation and publication of the Guide, announced the release of the next publication in Ukrainian – FIDIC CONTRACTS GUIDE and expressed hope for further cooperation.

More information about the distribution of the Ukrainian translation of FIDIC PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES GUIDE can be obtained from the Interstate Consultants Engineers Guild.