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Disinfection by the cartel?

Purchases of funds for Khabarovsk hospitals are investigated for price collusion

Last week, a case of possible collusion of the Khabarovsk Territory authorities and economic entities in organizing the procurement of disinfectants for health care institutions in the region was developed - in the summer about this, we recall, even a criminal case was opened on abuse of authority (Article 285 of the RF Criminal Code) Regional Health Ministry Alexander Vicko, what reported in detail EastRussia, but the investigators are still trying to justify the legality of the prosecution of the minister in the courts, and the official himself, having gone on leave, is neither a suspect nor an accused. The regional OFAS, meanwhile, approached the story from the other side: the antimonopoly authority considered that the disputed auctions had been conducted using the technology of the cartel agreement - a criminal case has been initiated and will be investigated for this as yet, but not yet a criminal case.

Disinfection by the cartel?

Khabarovsk OFAS initiated a case of violation of Art. 11 FZ on the protection of competition in the procurement of disinfectants for the needs of health facilities of the Khabarovsk Territory. This was reported by EastRussia leading specialist expert of the Department of Antimonopoly Control of the OFAS Larisa Ilchenko. Investigation of the circumstances of the purchase of disinfectants for the regional and municipal health facilities, we will remind, began this spring. In the regional administration, the FAS came to the conclusion that a representative of one of the Russian manufacturers of disinfectants, Novodez, acting in conjunction with officials from the Ministry of Health of the Khabarovsk Territory and the regional clinical hospital No. 1, "coordinated the auction of disinfectants for the needs of 11 medical institutions" with the goal of winning the "Clean Planet" LLC. The antimonopoly authority considered this a violation of Art. 16 of the Law on Protection of Competition - collusion between authorities and business entities. The trial is still pending. However, in parallel, the representatives of the supervisory structure found signs of another violation in the materials of the inspection - the conclusion of an agreement aimed at maintaining the price at the auction (item 2 part 1 article 11 of the law on protection of competition).

The auction for the supply of disinfectants for 11 health care facilities, recalls Larisa Ilchenko, was held on 24 on October 2016 of the year. “Following the investigation of the Khabarovsk OFAS, it was established that Clean Planet LLC, World Without Infections LLC and Sphere LLC in the course of participation in auctions implemented a unified strategy of behavior. If only two parties to the agreement were allowed to participate, the auctions ended with a minimum decrease in the initial maximum price - no more than 1%, which was achieved by the bidders submitting one price offer. In the event that bids from other economic entities that are not part of the cartel were allowed to participate in the auction collusion with these subjects, one of the parties to the agreement participated in the auction and reduced the price, and the second - if available - did not submit price offers. At the same time, the price reduction sometimes reached more than 70% ", - said the representative of FAS.

Cartel collusion is a mechanism that involves building a common line of behavior at tenders between often not formally unrelated companies: they may have different founders, places of registration, and even activities. Only by a similar strategy of behavior at auctions and some other indirect signs can you establish that companies are bound by a common goal - maintaining the highest possible auction price. And this, of course, contradicts common sense and the law on protection of competition. The Khabarovsk case was initiated against three LLCs. In case of recognition of the fact of violations, firms face punishment under part 2 art. 14.32 CoAP - a fine in the amount of 1 / 10 to 1 / 2 from the initial value of the subject of the auction for each particular auction. "If the investigation reveals that the actions of companies caused major damage to the state or extracted a large amount of income, the materials of our case will be forwarded to law enforcement agencies to decide on the initiation of the case under Article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation," the UFAS emphasizes.

The management department also noted that such a case - the first in the territory of Russia, and the authority to investigate it transferred to the regional administration of the central office of the FAS. In the comments of the head of the FAS Elena Kloster, posted on Friday on the site OFASIt is noted that the antimonopoly authorities "constantly pay attention and monitor public procurement in the medical sphere." "Every year, the FAS establishes the fact of increasing the number of cartels and anti-competitive agreements in all sectors of the economy. Throughout the country, the territorial bodies of the FAS deal with major cases of cartels. As for medicine, cartels to support prices for public procurement of medicines and medical products are fixed in 80 subjects of the Russian Federation. In 2017, one of the priority tasks facing the service is the decartelization of construction, the procurement of medicines and medical devices, and the delivery of computer real technology, "said Ms. Kloster.


Officials of the regional Ministry of Health in the proceedings on the grounds of violation of Art. 11 of the Law on Protection of Competition, initiated by the Khabarovsk OFAS, do not appear. However, the very fact of overstating prices, which eventually resulted in contracts for disinfecting funds for healthcare institutions, if it is proved, quite "lies" in the logic of the criminal case against Minister Alexander Vitko, who was first instigated, and now trying to "reanimate" through courts in the UFSB.

Recall, "chekists", justifying the damage allegedly caused by the actions of the authorities and representatives of the NGO Novodez, refer to the expertise of the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Economic Security and Countering Corruption of the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs. There at the beginning of June 2017 year issued a conclusion that the purchase was allegedly overvalued compared to the average market prices, assessing the damage to 11 healthcare facilities of the region in the amount of just over 3 million rubles.

However, it was this point in the argumentation of the investigation - about the overstatement of prices - that the prosecutor's office later recognized as a weak prosecutor who canceled the decision to initiate the case against Alexander Vitko. The position of the supervisory authority, we recall, is based on the fact that in the actions of Alexander Vitko, both motive and wine were missing. In particular, Mr. Vitko's personal interest in helping the representative of the Novodez NGO had only "a desire to curry favor with the Governor of the Khabarovsk Territory and prove himself to be an effective leader", that is, to attract an investor to the region, the very same NGO Novodez. In addition, it was counted in the prosecutor's office, "Vitka A.V.'s involvement in the formation of the inflated price was not confirmed, and the exact amount of the damage was not established."

Meanwhile, an additional argument in the form of the OFAS decision on overstating prices on the auction investigation would clearly not have prevented. After all, during this time, the task of attracting a manufacturer of disinfectants to the region, which was put before Mr. Vitko by its head, was formally achieved: Profidez-DV LLC in September inaugurated the shop for mixing and prepacking preparations in Khabarovsk's advanced development territory. So far, of course, this is not a full-fledged production facility at all - drugs are not made on it, but only poured, and the issue of placement in the territory, where in the future it is planned to build objects of the food industry, of a real chemical production - on the brink of fantasy. But the investor, assured in the regional government, promises to establish the production of modern disinfectant, sterilizing and antiseptic drugs, for which he will invest X million rubles of own funds in the project over the next five years.

In the opening ceremony of the workshop, as reported regional authoritiesVice-Speaker of the State Duma Irina Yarovaya, Minister for Development of the Far East Alexander Galushka, Governor Vyacheslav Shport and Mayor of Khabarovsk Alexander Sokolov took part. "Until now, we did not have our own production of disinfectants, but the need for such products is high, first of all, the requests of local consumers - health care institutions, social services, education, public catering enterprises, housing and communal services - will be provided, while the cost of" Profidez- DV "will save millions of rubles.The next stage will be the release of this line to the markets of the Asia-Pacific Region," Mr. Shport said.
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