As in every election year, Four months before the voting, the Law of Guarantees comes into force, a regulation that prohibits governors, mayors, secretaries, managers and directors of state entities from entering into inter-administrative agreements to execute public resources during that period. that restriction It will take effect on January 29., and despite the fact that an exception was provided for this year in the Budget Law for 2022, in order to continue promoting reactivation, not all contracts are covered.
According to the National Public Procurement Agency, Colombia Buy efficientand, during the last few days there has been a Significant increase in contract levels, to the point that the daily volume of operations handled by the entity has even quintupled, which according to reports, in January up to more than 32,000 contracts were registered in one day on the Secop II platform, when the highest level it had previously handled it was 6,400.
According to Colombia Compra Eficiente, as of January 27 and with 30 hours remaining for the entry of the guarantee law, 276,410 contracts had been concluded, and according to the state public procurement agency, there are 1,315 entities trading online and in real time.
“The intervention of the Electoral Guarantees Law makes the entities carry out, in January, the hiring they require for the year. This is the year in which Secop II has been most demanded, but not in which more contracts have been signed”explained Jose Andres O’Meara CEO of the entity.
According to the official, also this The increase in contracts has to do with the approaching entry of the Guarantees Law. “It has increased in recent days. On January 1 there were barely 150, on January 2 87, on January 3 it already amounted to 1,660. on January 4 there were 2,667. But for example yesterday there were 32,000. The ‘Colombian’ takes shape, we leave everything for the last minute”, assured O’Meara.
According to the agency, the entities have concentrated 50% of its hiring processes in the last 7 days, without taking advantage of the installed capacity of the platform in the first days of the month.
Despite this, according to the official, “for a guarantee law, hiring is low, in 2018, 393,451 contracts were signed in January 2018, which is the last electoral year comparatively speaking. The difference is that in the current government we have increased our OECD transparency policy, Secop I was just a PDF, but in Secop II we have all transactional traceability of the contract online and in real time”, assured.
According to the director of the entity, while in 2018 only 43,000 were carried out by Secop II, this year all of them are being carried out by the platform.
“The strengthening of Secop II has been close to 500%”, indicated O’Meara. The entity also highlights that part of the increase in processes has to do with the fact that the use of the platform has increased in recent years. “The capacity of the Secop II platform has increased to historical levels. We went from transacting $26 billion in 2019 to $99 billion in 2021”.
HIRING IN 2022
With the exception that it was included in the Budget Law for this year, the door was opened for the entities to continue entering into contracts, since one of the paragraphs of the rule was modified so that the Nation can enter into inter-administrative agreements with the territorial entities to execute programs and projects corresponding to the General Budget of the Nation .
This determination, as the Government indicated at the time, was made “with the purpose of promoting economic reactivation and job creation in the regions”, and will only apply for fiscal year 2022. But the execution of these contracts will be subject to special control by the Comptroller General.
“As of tomorrow, no direct contracting can be carried out, everything that is done from Saturday 29 at 00:01 hours is tenders, abbreviated selections and minimum amounts. Direct contracting as a modality of selection of contractors is prohibited.O’Meara explained.
The official explained that these processes are carried out by each entity independently, but Colombia Compra Eficiente formulates policies on legal certainty and also manages the Secop II platform.
George Santos, professor of Public Procurement at the External University, explained that “IWhat is beginning to take effect is the prohibition of direct contracting until the elections and if there is a second round, until the second round. The entities make a good number of contracts for the provision of services for contractors, but this year they ended up doing them in January on the eve of the guarantee law, they ended up doing the same contracts, but in less time. This is something that has always happened, even since the first time the guarantee law was applied.”
According to the teacher, the only concrete change is that before the possibility of contracting the nation with the territories ended in November and the prohibition was moved until January. “These are the same contracts that they would have concluded in less time. It’s more noise than reality,” he said.