Corruption in Minsk city executive committee: Procurement system rots
7:54, — crime
Huge sums of money from the municipal budget were spent on corruption schemes.
This opinion was expressed in the State Control Committee's magazine by Viktar Halatsevich, the head of the committee's department of control over economic branches. According to him, the audit of the activities of the tender centre of the Minsk city executive committee revealed absence of proper control over the use of funds and the government procurement process that led to ineffective and illegal use of funds. The State Control Committee emphasises that the centre organises tendering processes in such a way that outside companies find it difficult to get involved in the process. These steps hinder the development of competition among bidders, Yezhednevnik reports.
The number of potential suppliers have reduced to a minimum for the last three years while the number of simplified procurement procedures has increased.
The simplified procedures including negotiated procurement or sole source procurement are not bad. But the State Control Committee exposed the scheme showing signs of corruption in the tender centre of the Minsk city executive committee. The scheme is simple: a tender is declared to have failed for trumped-up reasons, the simplified procedure is used with the procurement price significantly exceeding prices offered by bidders. Other state-owned companies find themselves involved in such things.
For example, the tender centre organises simplified tendering instead of the open procedure to buy video equipment for the Minsk metro system. The supplier was chosen from the candidates offered by the metro company itself. Video equipment was purchased at a price two and in some cases six times higher than the reasonable price. The State Control Committee estimates the overpayment at 5.6 billion rubles.
Another example is purchasing converting units. The tender commission declared the tender to have failed on no grounds. After that the simplified negotiated procedure was carried out. The equipment was bought at a price higher than the one proposed by the winning bidder by 2.9 billion rubles.
More than 9 billion rubles were used improperly to buy water purification equipment for a deironing station, when a supplier without experience in producing, mounting and maintaining the equipment won the tender.
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