Is defence procurement generally conducted as open competition or is there a significant element of single-sourcing (that is, without competition)?
64a. Open competition
Tunisia score: 0/100
The majority of defence procurements are not conducted as an open competition.
Less than half (30-50%) of defence procurements are conducted as open competition. A majority of procurements are either restricted competition (i.e. 2-3 suppliers invited to compete) or single-sourced.
Most (50%+) defence procurements are conducted as an open competition, though a significant percentage of the value of contract (30% to 50%) are single-sourced.
The majority (70%+) of defence procurements are conducted as an open competition, though a significant minority of the value of contracts (10% to 30%) are single-sourced.
The vast majority (90%+) of defence procurements are conducted as an open competition, except in clearly defined and limited circumstances. There is a relatively small component (less than 10%) of single-sourcing.
According to our sources, military procurement is not always conducted in an open competition (less than 15%). Although a big portion of the procurement is conducted in an open competition, many are single-sourced and conducted through direct negotiation with the manufacturer, for example communications and military vehicles. The percentage of the two categories is not known (1,2). Article 6 of Decree n°1039-2014, dated 13 March 2014, Organising Public Procurement, provides that procurement must be conducted as an open competition. However, article 49 of the same decree provides that procurement can be made by direct negotiation for public security and national defence reasons (3). Article 2 of Decree n° 88-36, dated 12 January 1988, on the Special Procedure of Control of Expenditure of the Ministries of Defence and Interior, provides that certain purchases of these two ministries can be made by direct negotiation. This special procedure is justified by security matters (4). According to the Ministry of Defence, there is a strict obligation to apply competition, although only in defence procurement and projects for acquiring major weapons systems.
Direct purchase agreements are to be clearly and strongly justified, it is the same for single sourcing (5). It is not possible to assess what percentage are single-sourced but the variety of suppliers (USA, Netherlands, Turkey, France) shows that there may be some competitio (6,7,8,9).
(1)Interview T3, MoF official, Tunis, 17-20 July 2019.
(2)Interview T5, Accountant, MoD, Tunis, 25-26 July 2019
(3) Decree n°1039-2014, dated 13 March 2014, Organising Public Procurement
(4) Decree n° 88-36, dated 12 January 1988, Special Procedure of Control of Expenditure of the Ministries of Defence and Interior and Structures in Charge of Prisons and Re-education Depending from Ministry of Justice.
(5) Ministry of Defence response to GI. 2015
(6)”La Marine nationale dotée de nouveaux patrouilleurs.” Webdo. 27 June, 2018. https://bit.ly/2Zb8ibD
(7) “Réception de 9 blindés offerts par les USA.” Mosaique FM. 25 June, 2018. https://bit.ly/2YlX3Md
(8)”La Marine réceptionne un bateau américain destiné à la surveillance des frontières maritimes.” Tunisie Numerique. 7 July, 2017. https://bit.ly/2Ys3Tjk/
(9) “Tunis reçoit six hélicoptères de combat américains pour la lutte antiterroriste.” Huff Post. 6 February, 2017. https://bit.ly/2Yd8KKf
64b. Scrutiny of single/restricted competition procedures
Tunisia score: 25/100
Oversight agencies have no powers to question single/sole or restricted competition procedures.
Oversight agencies have some powers to question single/sole/restricted competition procedure selected or purchase and occasionally do so.
Oversight agencies have powers to question the competition procedure selected and actively do so in a number of cases.
All single/sole source and restricted competition procedure contracts are justified to external scrutiny who have powers to question the competition procedure selected.
All single source and restricted competition procedure contracts must be justified and subject to external scrutiny (such as parliament or the external audit office), who have the power to reject the competition procedure selected.
According to our sources, there is, in theory, a committee that oversees and scrutinises the work on tenders’ commissions. However, this committee can be superficial and ineffective. A committee is responsible for the opening of tenders, price negotiation, and the preparation of contract clauses. This applies to cases of defence expenditure that does not fall under the general laws of procurement due to their sensitive nature (1). According to Article 5 of the same decree, this work is overseen by a special committee chaired by the concerned minister or his representative.
However, despite extensive research, we have not been able to find other information on the functioning of the commission or its effectiveness (2). For other purchases, general legislation applies (Decree n°1039-2014, dated 13 March 2014, Organising Public Procurement). For these purchases, decisions are subject to independent control, for example by the High Committee of Procurement and the committees of procurement control (3).
(1) Article 3 of Decree n° 88-36, dated 12 January 1988, Special Procedure of Control of Expenditure of the Ministries of Defence and Interior and Structures in Charge of Prisons and Re-education Depending from Ministry of Justice
(2) Media Review. www.observatoire-securite.tn. 2016-2018.
(3) Decree n°1039-2014, dated 13 March 2014, Organising Public Procurement.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||64a. Open competition||64b. Scrutiny of single/restricted competition procedures|
|Algeria||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Angola||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Egypt||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Ghana||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Kuwait||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Lebanon||NEI||25 / 100|
|Mali||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Morocco||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Niger||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Nigeria||NEI||0 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Palestine||75 / 100||25 / 100|
|Qatar||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Tunisia||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||0 / 100|