Alexey Khersontsev: Inspection Bodies Can Ensure Quality Assessment of Products Subject to Public Procurement

April 09, 2019

The Head of RusAccreditation took part in the discussion about quality assessment of products and services under public procurement at the 15th Exhibition Forum “GOSZAKAZ” in Moscow on April 5. During the open discussion “Result Matters Most — For Transparent Public Procurement”, the Head of the national accreditation body suggested using accredited inspection bodies for acceptance of products and developing a program for accreditation of inspection bodies that provide product expertise and acceptance under public procurement.

According to the Russian Treasury, procurement of goods amounted to 60 percent in the total structure of public procurement in 2018. At the same time, the goods under public procurement are mostly subject to confirmation of conformity to technical regulations in the form of declaring.

“The requester must understand that there are different declaration schemes, therefore the bidding documents should require declaring of goods by schemes that involve third-party participation,” the Head of the Federal Service for Accreditation reported and suggested listing specific parameters of product testing in the standard contract forms since technical regulations themselves lacked the requirement to carry out tests of any parameters.

According to the Federal Law No. 44-FZ “On the Contract System in Procurement of Goods, Works, Services for State and Municipal Needs” dated April 5, 2013, a description of a procured item can include requirements for testing, test methods, and conformity assessment. Due to that, the Head of RusAccreditation suggested developing — jointly with the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Federal Agency on Technical Regulation and Metrology, and All-Russia People’s Front (ONF) — a guidebook for requesters to provide them with a wider range of instruments for conformity assessment of goods.

The Federal Law No. 44-FZ also contains a rule that the procured product must be new. Technical regulations lack such a requirement. “Special knowledge is needed to assess whether the technically complex product is new. In practice, a diligent requester always questions the feasibility of engaging experts in acceptance,” the Head of RusAccreditation noted.

Alexey Khersontsev drew the attention of the discussion participants to the fact that the world conformity assessment practice was undergoing a shift from certification to inspection. Most B2B contracts provide for the acceptance of goods with the participation of a third party — an inspection body that assesses the conformity of the procured goods to the contract requirements. There is a special type of business for inspection, acceptance organization and product expertise.

“Russia needs an infrastructure of private or public-private inspection bodies. There is the international standard ISO/IEC 17020:2012 “Conformity Assessment. Requirements for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection” and the corresponding national standard. At the beginning of 2019, there were 254 inspection bodies accredited for operation under this standard. At the moment, most of them are subordinates to the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare engaged in issuing of disease control reports. But there is already a small number of private institutions getting inspection accreditations in this area,” Alexey Khersontsev reported.

The Head of RusAccreditation suggested developing — jointly with the Federal Antimonopoly Service and All-Russia People’s Front — a roadmap for engagement of inspection bodies in the public procurement process.