Media Brief: Conflict of interest in the process of public procurement in Montenegro – the example of Carević



„The issue of conflict of interest in the public procurement procedure is regulated by the Law on Public Procurement. Unfortunately, in reality, it rests on the principle of the complete absence of any control of formal statements on conflict of interest that are made before awarding the contract. The examples covered by MANS show that no one controls the credibility of such statements, including the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (APC) itself, after reporting or learning about the existence of a possible conflict of interest in the procurement process. There is a lack of checks even despite the fact that the Law on Prevention of Corruption allows the APC to carry out much more detailed checks of the circumstances of conflict of interest in terms of persons connected with the public official who makes the decision. According to that law, any legal entity and/or legal entity that enters into a public procurement contract with a public official becomes a related entity that may be subject to comprehensive checks of the assets and income of that entity. 

Article 40 of the current Law on Public Procurement prescribes the Duty to prevent conflict of interest, as follows: A contracting authority shall take appropriate actions to efficiently prevent, recognise and eliminate conflict of interest related to a public procurement procedure.“ 

Later, in Articles 41 and 42, it recognizes the dangers in terms of Conflict of interest between contracting authorities and business entities and Conflict of interest arising from prior activities of business entities with contracting authorities.

Finally, in the article Prevention and recording of conflict of interest, the Law stipulates signing a statement declaring absence of conflict of interest by the contracting authority and bidders (as well as subcontractors), or later submission of the Request for recusal if a conflict of interest occurs in the process of public procurement.

Earlier legal solution, which was in force until July 2020, elaborated the concept of conflict of interest in even more detail, thus Article 16, paragraph 4, item 1 stipulated that „conflict of interest of a contracting authority shall exist if the person referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article:

1) is a bidder, a bidder submitting the joint bid, subcontractor, legal representative, or attorney of the bidder, of the bidder submitting the joint bid, or of the subcontractor;

However, all the possibilities for abuse of this system have been exposed in the example of Marko Carević, president of the Municipality of Budva and a businessman, as well as the inactivity of the state authorities that are obliged to protect it. For further explanation, it is important to point out that Carević is the owner of the construction company “Carinvest”, registered in Kotor.

Namely, NGO MANS’ Investigative Centre obtained data that reveal that Carević’s company was the contractor for the works for which tenders were announced by the Municipality of Budva, and in connection with which and on whose behalf Carević himself concluded the contracts. 


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