Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei Sobyanin
Photo: Yekaterina Shtukina / TASS
The government relaxed the control over public procurement after a lot of complaints about failures in the system. Problems with procurement had complained to the mayor of Moscow, governors of Saint-Petersburg and Murmansk region, and even foreign intelligence
The government temporarily eased the rules of Treasury control over public procurement: the customers are allowed to place in the unified information system (UIS) information about the purchases before receiving approval from the Federal Treasury, the government resolution of 20 March (available on the official website zakupki.gov.ru but on the portal of legal information the government had not yet published). The ruling suspends regulation forbidding the placing of purchase without Treasury control until January 1, 2018 for Federal procurement and before January 1, 2019 for regional and municipal contracts, the paper said.
Systematic failures in the EIS, there had been complaints since the beginning of the year: in January, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on them, in particular, wrote the mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin. In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister (there RBC), he pointed out that Moscow realizes up to 10% of all public procurement, and disruptions in the EIS threaten the fulfillment of social obligations. As a solution to the problems the mayor offered to give this right to the regions with the annual volume of procurement of over RUB 100 billion to create do not depend on EIS regional system of public procurement.
In February of failures in the system the Prime Minister wrote to the governors of St. Petersburg and Murmansk region. “The Federal Treasury as one of the variants of partial solutions of the problems offers customers to make placing information directly in the personal Cabinet of EIS <…> However, this solution contrary to its subjects normative legal acts,” — said in a letter to the Governor of the Murmansk region Marina Kovtun in the name of Medvedev (the copy is in RBC). Kovtun asked to rectify the situation and amend existing legislation to relieve from administrative responsibility of the customer and the competent authorities in cases where they are unable to place information in the EIS because of technical failures.
The Governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko in a letter to the Prime Minister on the same issue said that due to failure is no timely exchange of documents between UIS and regional public procurement systems (RIS), as well as between users of EIS — customers and control authorities. Poltavchenko has proposed to implement a system of “reverse interaction”, which in case of failures in ESI enable operation in FIG.
The dissatisfaction of the security services
By March the problem of the failures of EIS has not been resolved, and a problem have complained the foreign intelligence Service (SVR). “We believe that the rules of control and <…> the accounting budget and financial obligations unduly complicate the procedure of control and completely unnecessarily increase the duration of each purchase,” — said in a letter to the chief of security SVR Alexander Krajina the Ministry. He also pointed out that the situation for SVR is compounded by the secrecy of the procurement plans of the services, and the introduction of Treasury control increased paperwork. The established order of Treasury control, the letter said, overly bureaucratic, “in some issues is contrary to the requirements of the legislation and to some extent discreditied the entire contract system”.
The Ministry also received complaints about the service support of EIS. Border Department of the FSB for the Primorsky Krai in February, reported that within two weeks could not make the necessary changes to the plan schedule of purchases through a personal account in the EIS. “To technical support sent nine queries <…> about the only technical site errors that prevent the posting of information about changing the schedule,” wrote security forces. Support EIS does not respond on the merits and can not resolve the error, follows from the document.
By order dated March 20, the government suspended some of the rules 44-FZ, which came into force from the beginning of 2017 and has led to massive failure in the EIS. These rules have imposed control by the Federal Treasury six types of information about public procurement published in the EIS, and also obliges customers to place in the system of a three-year procurement plan and annual plan schedule of purchases. The failures of EIS has led to the fact that Treasury control of compliance of procurement plan-schedules had to be automated, but in practice it turned out that fully automate the process impossible. Without Treasury control of the schedule placing purchases in the EIS is blocked, work with public procurement still accounts for almost manually, the Director of the Centre for the development of competition policy and public procurement Ranepa Elena Agapova. “To protect the exchequer, which was assigned to the automation UIS, I can say that public procurement issued numerous resolutions and orders. If it were clearly spelled out what needs to be done in order to simplify the work of customers, I think it [the simplification] would be done,” she says.
The crisis in the system
Introduction of three-year plans — a long-standing dream of the MAYOR, says the expert of the company “SKB Kontur” Marina Savukov. “The whole reform of public procurement related to the start of the contract system in 2014 was started for this. This is not even with the planning of budget expenditures and control of what is purchased,” she says. Previously, the customer could declare any tender, to buy a product or service that is not related to core business, for example, an expensive car, it spawned corruption scheme, says Savukov. Plans and graphics allow the Treasury and other regulatory bodies in advance to see those purchases and, if necessary, to cancel them.
Also, the government has established the procedure for control of documents containing the state secret and not subject to accommodation in UIS directly to the Treasury should be sent information about the code of procurement, resource allocation, Protocol definition suppliers, and the draft contract. This is a necessary clarification, Savukov explains: “the previous text was not clear, what is monitored, what information is on the purchase — now it is written”.
From the beginning of 2017 in the field of public procurement, there was a crisis. As of January 27 at UIS are unable to post the procurement plans of 180 thousand customers (approximately 70% of all customers), said in a letter to Deputy economic development Minister Yevgeny Yelin in the name of the first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, on 27 January (a copy of the letter is at RBC). “The introduction of a three year procurement plan and annual schedule leads, apart from the high complexity for customers, to the emergence of a large number of bureaucratic and technical difficulties,” wrote Elin.
On the background of the failures of EIS in the government there was a discussion on the transfer of control of the system. Now the control of this system, which publishes the notice of procurement for all state and municipal institutions and enterprises, are divided among the Ministry of economic development and subordinated to the Ministry of Finance the Treasury. In early February, 2017, “Kommersant” reported that the government rejected the idea of a focus control system in the same hands. Dispute about the distribution of powers between the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of economic development continues for several months, the final decision is still pending.