2020.11.25 12:30

Lithuania underreports spending on protective measures during pandemic – Transparency International

BNS, LRT.lt2020.11.25 12:30

The sum of money Lithuania spent on fighting the coronavirus pandemic may be 10 percent higher than previously reported, according to a report by Transparency International.

“This pandemic is a test for our country’s transparency. It’s good that we have been one of the first countries in the world to make data on Covid-19 [related] purchases public and we are an example to others,” said Sergejus Muravjovas from Transparency International in Lithuania.

“I hope [Lithuania] will take other important steps in the near future – to centralise public procurement, [to] have a list of trusted suppliers, and [to] start publishing open source data on public procurement in one place.”

In July, Transparency International Lithuanian Chapter (TILS) surveyed 12 hospitals and major procurement institutions in order to supplement a report by the Public Procurement Office on the purchase of goods and services used in the country's efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The report covered the period between January and May.

Responses sent by these institutions to TILS provided information about 136 additional contracts with 73 suppliers, worth nearly 8 million euros. According to TILS, this amounts to at least a tenth of the coronavirus-related spending.

Based on the updated data, the total amount spent by organisations on Covid-19 procurement amounts to at least 77 million euros.

The review shows that eight out of ten reported contracts were of relatively low value.

In most cases, hospitals and other institutions bought personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitising liquid (34 percent), medical equipment (22 percent), medication and pharmaceutical products (13 percent).

The procured goods were distributed among 224 different institutions, based on the data from 7 out of 12 procurement organisations.

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