Complaints Review and Remedies Mechanisms under the Ethiopian Public Procurement System: A Critical Review of the State of Law & Selected Practices
AbstractThe Ethiopian Public Procurement & Property Administration Proclamation No. 649/2009 is the primary legislation regulating public procurement procedures, complaint review mechanisms, remedies, administration and disposal of public property. It is supplemented with a Procurement Directive aiming at operationalizing the principles and rules embodied in it. This Public Procurement system has largely modeled itself from the 1994 UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services which features a complaints review mechanism with compulsory hierarchical complaint review mechanisms. The procuring public bodies assume mandatory first instance review jurisdiction on complaints lodged against their own decisions. The complaints review board and the courts are respectively the higher levels of review bodies. It has been 12 years since this law has been put in action and this work aspires to examine and analyze the state of law and practice on suppliers’ complaints, review mechanisms and remedies by drawing relevant insights from the 1994 & 2011 UNCITRAL Model Laws. It is focused on the analysis of the rights of suppliers to file complaints, the complaint review bodies and their scope of competence, the powers of the courts and the award of remedies. It has been established that the Ethiopian public procurement complaints review system is constrained by obstacles that the law opted to include prohibitive clauses on the amenability of major procurement decisions which practically impairs the effectiveness of the review system. The prohibitions on the reviewability of procurement decisions limit the availability of review to be at the later stage of the procurement procedure and result in far fewer remedies. Moreover, the review board’s features of independence and requirements of professionalism are fundamentally compromised. Review jurisdiction by the courts has been very uncertain until the cassation interpretation by the Federal Supreme Court in the Jedaw case made a settling judgment.
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Legislations & Model Laws
House of Peoples Representatives, Proclamation No. 649/2009: The Ethiopian Federal Government Procurement and Property Administration Proclamation, 15th year, No. 60, Addis Ababa, 9th September 2009.
The Civil Procedure Code of Ethiopia 1965.
The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 1995.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples Representatives. The Criminal Code of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Proclamation No. 414/2004.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples Representatives. Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Proclamation, No. 813/2013, 20th year, No. 28, Addis Ababa, 21st March 2014.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples Representatives. Federal Civil Servants Proclamation, No. 1064/2017, 24th year No. 12, Addis Ababa, 15th December 2017.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples Representatives, Federal Tax Administration Proclamation No. 983/ 2016, 22nd year No. 103, Addis Ababa, 20th August 2016.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Federal Public Procurement Directive, Addis Ababa, June 2010.
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services, General Assembly Resolution 66/95 of December 2011, United Nations, New York, 2014.
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement, United Nations, New York, 2014.
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services, with Guide to Enactment (1994).
ፌደራል ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ሰ/መ/ቁ 193392 ሀምሌ 28 ቀን 2013 ዓ/ም በአመልካች ክብሮም ደስታ ጠቅላላ ስራ ተቋራጭ እና በሰበር መልስ ሰጭ ዓዲግራት ዩኒቨርሲቲ [Kibrom Desta GC v. Adigrat University, Federal Supreme Court Cassation Division Decision No. 193392, 03 August 2021].
ፌደራል ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ሰ/መ/ቁ 107805 ጥቅምት 04 ቀን 2008 ዓ/ም በአመልካች ጀዳው አማካሪ አርክቴክቶች እና በተጠሪ የፌደራል ስፖርት ኮሚሽን የፌደራል ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ሰበር ችሎት ውሳኔዎች ቅፅ 19 (2008) ገፅ 332-336 [Jedaw Consulting Architects v Federal Sport Commission & Federal Ministry of Justice, The Federal Supreme Court Cassation Decision No. C/F/No. 107805, 04 October 2008 Ethiopian Calendar (2015 G. C). Federal Supreme Court Bench Cassation Decisions, Vol. 19, 2008 E.C, 332-336.
ፌደራል ከፍተኛ ፍርድ ቤት መ/ቁ 179767 ግንቦት 28 ቀን 2009 ዓ/ም በይግባኝ አመልካች አደም መሃመድ አወል ህንፃና ውሃ ስራዎች ተቋራጭ እና በይግባኝ መልስ ሰጪዎች የፌደራል መንግስት ግዥና ንብረት አስተዳደር ኤጀንሲ፣ የፌደራል መንግስት ገዥ እና ንብረት አወጋድ ቅሬታ አጣሪ እና ወሳኔ ሰጪ ቦርድ እና የፋይናንስና ኢኮኖሚ ልማት ሚኒስቴር [Adem Mohammad Awol Building and Water Works Construction vs. Federal Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency, Public Procurement and Property Disposal Complaints Review and Decision setting Board and the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development. Federal High Court Decision No. 179767 date 28/09/2009 (Ethiopian Calendar system].
ፌደራል ከፍተኛ ፍርድ ቤት መ/ቁ 205736 ጥር 11 ቀን 2011 ዓ/ም በይግባኝ አመልካች ክብሮም ደስታ ጠቅላላ ስራ ተቋራጭ እና በይግባኝ መልስ ሰጭዎች ዓዲግራት ዩኒቨርሲቲ እና የፌደራል መንግስት ገዥ እና ንብረት አወጋድ ቅሬታ አጣሪ እና ወሳኔ ሰጪ ቦርድ [Kibrom Desta General Contractor vs. Adigrat University and the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Complaints Review and Decision setting Board. Federal High Court Decision No. 205736 date 11/05/2011 (Ethiopian Calendar system)].
የፌደራል መንግስት ገዥ እና ንብረት አወጋድ ቅሬታ አጣሪ እና ወሳኔ ሰጪ ቦርድ ውሳኔ ቁጥር መግኤ/አ-22/16/1489, dated 18/03/2010 ዓ/ም በአመልካች ክብሮም ደስታ ጠቅላላ ስራ ተቋራጭ እና በተጠሪ ዓዲግራት ዩኒቨርሲቲ መካከል [Kibrom Desta GC vs. Adigrat University, Public Procurement Complaints Review and Decision Setting Board decision No. መግኤ/አ-22/16/1489, dated 18/03/2010 (November 18, 2017 Ethiopian Calendar)].
የፌደራል መንግስት ገዥ እና ንብረት አወጋድ ቅሬታ አጣሪ እና ወሳኔ ሰጪ ቦርድ ውሳኔ ቁጥር መግኤ/አ-12/16/1078, ቀን 15/06/2011 ዓ/ም በአመልካች ዶክቶክ አስመጪና ላኪ እና በተጠሪ አክሱም ዩኒቨርሲቲ መካከል [DokTok vs. Aksum University, Public Procurement Complaints Review and Decision Setting Board decision No. መግኤ/አ-12/16/1078, dated 15/06/2011 (February 15, 2019 Ethiopian Calendar)].
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