The subject of this study are public procurement procedures of animal waste removal services conducted by certain local governments in Vojvodina in 2020.

The analyzed public procurement procedures are characterized by the fact that the tender documents for all procedures were identical in terms of technical capacity as an additional condition for the participation of bidders[1] (but in terms of other elements as well), but it doesn’t end here: in all procedures, there was only one bidder – “Eko-vet plus” d.o.o. from Vrbas, and in all cases his offer was very close (or identical) to the estimated value and as such was chosen in the absence of any competition.

It is important to note that almost all tender documents listed only the area (in square kilometers) of the municipality / city on whose territory the requested service will be performed, as well as the number of registered agricultural holdings (active and passive), without specifying how many head of cattle are owned by those agricultural farms. Only for the municipality of Bac it was stated how many kilograms of animal corpses are expected from the households, how many from public areas, i.e. how many regular field visits there will be. On the other hand, in accordance with the tender documentation, the bidders were expected to include in their offer either a total price for a 12 months period, or a monthly price (for a 12 months period). Therefore, the bidders were expected to offer lump sum monthly or annual amounts, without knowing (except in Bac) how many potential corpses there were or at least approximate number of households or agricultural holdings that have domestic animals or livestock.

Therefore it remains unclear how was it possible for the contracting authorities to determine the estimated values ​​of these procurements, but also whether the stated estimated values ​​(along with the offered prices) were realistic. It is also unclear why the bidders were not asked to state unit prices per kilogram and then be paid for the real quantity of the corpses removed, since this mechanism is not only easily implemented with this type of service but also offers a simple yet effective control of the execution of the public procurement contract. In these procedures, however, the contracting authority did not determine any particular technical specification that could serve as a parameter for the monitoring of contract execution, that could confirm that the funds paid to the selected bidder were really needed.

All these facts raise doubts that the reason that in all procedures only one bid was submitted (and always by the same bidder) should maybe be sought in an additional condition regarding technical capacity. It is also possible that there was an agreement between potential bidders or perhaps, some kind of ban on other bidders to participate.

Also, the manner in which these public procurements were conducted indicates an obvious violation of two perhaps the most important principles of public procurement – the economic efficiency principle and the principle of ensuring competition. Finally, these procurements surely contain some of the reasons why the number of submitted bids in Serbia in one public procurement procedure remains extremely low.

[1] An additional condition of technical capacity required the bidder to have: (1) at least 3 motor vehicles (refrigerated trucks) specialized in this type of service, of which at least 1 vehicle had to have a carrying capacity of at least 1 ton net; (2) a specialized furnace for burning corpses and waste of animal origin, whose manufacturer meets the requirements of ISO 9001.