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The "shaggy paw" will be hit by a fine and prison

As a deputy in the State Duma from Kamchatka, Irina Yarovaya tries to force her not to renounce money and prison

The "shaggy paw" will be hit by a fine and prison

United Russia deputies Irina Yarovaya (represents the Kamchatka Territory in the State Duma) and Mikhail Starshinov (a member of the Central Headquarters of the All-Russian Popular Front) want to toughen the punishment for frauds with public procurement. The bill has already been submitted to the State Duma. EastRussia analyzes how this threatens Far Eastern officials and how effective such an initiative can be.

And suma, and prison

Irina Yarovaya, head of the Duma Committee for Security and Anti-Corruption, proposes to supplement the Criminal Code with Article 164.1 "Theft in the procurement of goods, works, services to meet state or municipal needs."

If such an article appears, those responsible for the theft (if, of course, they manage to catch them by the hand) will be punished with a ruble and prison. The amount of the fine and the term of imprisonment will depend on the amount of the appropriated budget funds. The minimum rate is a fine from 500 thousand to 1 million rubles or imprisonment up to six years and a fine of up to 500 thousand rubles. Further more. In case of budget losses of more than 250 thousand rubles - a fine of 1-3 million rubles or a prison term of 4 to 8 years with a fine of 500 thousand to 1 million rubles. For embezzlement of more than 1 million rubles, the prison will become a home for 5-12 years. For embezzlement of budgetary funds in the execution of a state contract on an especially large scale (it starts from 6 million rubles), freedom can be imprisoned for 20 years. For receiving a bribe by an official when placing or carrying out a state defense order, there will be imprisonment from 8 to 15 years or a fine from 80 to 100 times the amount of the bribe.

Far Eastern wisdom?

In the regions of the Far East, they did not show any interest in the initiative of deputy Yarovoi, they politely but firmly refused to comment on the bill at local offices of the Federal Antimonopoly Service and regional administrations. After the loud arrest of the governor of Sakhalin, apparently decided that it is better to remain silent.

The Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation has repeatedly noted an increase in the number of offenses and detected crimes in the procurement of goods, works and services for state and municipal needs in the Far East. So, the activists of the All-Russian Popular Front back in 2013 reported to Vladimir Putin about the waste of the Sakhalin government. Officials bought Mercedes and SUVs for up to 10 million rubles for budget money, the regional administration bought expensive 3D paintings, stained glass windows and curtains, furniture and even toilet bowls for 200 thousand rubles. The Sakhalin government spent more than 850 million rubles to renovate its building, and another 333 million went to the construction of a garage alone. The Governor of the Sakhalin Region, Alexander Khoroshavin, was arrested in early March in the case of taking a bribe in the amount of $ 5,6 million.

In general, experts from the All-Russian People's Front analyzed 10 million government purchases that were posted on the government website in the period from 2012 to 2014. The results are dismal: 20% of all government orders were carried out with violations of the law. Performance data for one in five purchases was missing or published late.

State Duma deputy, member of the Committee on Regional Policy and Problems of the North and the Far East, Ivan Abramov, is convinced that the fight against corruption should not be increased responsibility, but the inevitability of punishment. “We need to explain the rules of the game to everyone: that's it, the fight against corruption has begun. Five or six years in prison - there is no difference. Maybe this will stop someone, but the majority will think that it will blow over again. All local officials, in principle, are sane literate people. They must understand that they will have to answer for illegal actions. We need to work more on the institution of control, and not on toughening punishment, ”the deputy said.

Especially, according to him, this is relevant for the Far East, from which to Moscow - thousands of kilometers. “This is the specificity of the region: the leadership is not there often. Both the president and federal ministers come to the nearby regions from the capital more often, and it is easier for citizens in search of the truth to get to Moscow if it is 500 km away, and not 7 thousand. ", - explains Abramov. He hopes that the story of the Sakhalin governor will be for all lessons. The deputy is in solidarity with other experts and also believes that electronic trading could deal with corruption when placing a state order: an official should be protected as much as possible from decision-making, so that only an electronic program can do this.

The editorial staff of EastRussia could not get a comment from Yarovaya herself about the scale of corruption in the region: according to the deputy's press secretary, her job is to propose legislative measures to combat corruption, and not to assess the scale of the phenomenon.

Who is guilty…

Irina Rukina, Deputy Chairperson of the Interregional Public Organization "Committee for the Fight against Corruption", notes that the situation with government procurements and government orders is so serious that amendments alone cannot correct it. "Honor and praise to the deputies who are trying to do at least something within the framework that they are allowed, but this does not solve the issue," the expert emphasizes.

In her opinion, the most important thing is the transparency of financial and commodity flows. With all the good intentions of the deputies, amendments to the Criminal Code will not be able to turn muddy water into transparent, Rukina said. “No Accounts Chamber can ever detect a bribe. Because an affiliated company that has already reached an agreement with an official will definitely win, in any way, ”explains the deputy chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee. - But in order for her to win, the money from the account, the very bribe or kickback is transferred in advance. And the company goes to the auction calmly, because no one will see or understand anything. Or, if we are talking about orders of a different level, for example, municipal, the contract exists in advance. It says how many percent will be issued in the form of a rollback. At the same time, any company that takes part in a government order understands perfectly well that it will have to complete the task with much less money than is needed for its high-quality implementation. "

Another significant problem, according to Rukina, is the cost estimate, which, as a rule, is overstated. And it is also very difficult to verify this. “Take any major project, for example, the Vostochny cosmodrome. Overestimating costs is the number one problem. Here, it seems to me, it is necessary to adopt a law on affiliated companies, it is in the State Duma. The punishment for officials who have such companies and help them should be harsh. After the incident with the Governor of Sakhalin Khoroshavin, in my opinion, this should be clear to everyone, ”the expert notes.

... and what to do

Irina Rukina suggests going the other way. In her opinion, the problems with public procurement could be solved by electronic trading. She cited Georgia as an example, where with the help of electronic trading in a year and a half, it was possible to eliminate the system of corruption in state orders. The small country of Montenegro is also switching to such auctions. According to Rukina, where the authorities understand that the budget is a sacred cow and will tear their heads off for irrational, ineffective spending of funds, they do everything to make financial flows transparent. Electronic procurement will not solve all problems, but it will certainly make the bidding transparent and open. Another effective measure is the confiscation of the property of corrupt officials. “It has not yet been fully introduced, no matter what the deputies say. When a corrupt official understands that the property will be confiscated and his family will be left without this property, he will probably think carefully. Here is the Sakhalin governor filed a declaration. Was it really so difficult to verify that his declaration did not correspond to his real expenses? The golden stream fell to Sakhalin - and where did it end up? Accounts in Hong Kong, in the governor's estate. How many more cases are needed for the authorities to wake up? All the excuses on this score, I just do not accept them. Everything can be tracked, checked, but this requires transparency, ”the expert categorically declares.

Head of the Center for Legal Support and Consulting of the Institute for Procurement and Sales Management. A.B. Solovyov Higher School of Economics, Roman Serazhetdinov believes that one amendment will not change anything significant in the public procurement system - systemic measures are needed here. At the same time, Serazhetdinov welcomes any tightening of responsibility for fraud with public procurement - they say, it will not get worse. “Strengthening our responsibility does not in any way affect the openness of procurement. The availability of information on the official website and accessibility affect the openness of procurement. The law on the contract system in this part has already made a big step forward. The only unified information system, which is provided by law, has not yet been developed and implemented, but this should be done by the end of this year. There are tracking mechanisms, but the number of tenders is huge and it is impossible to track all purchases, in any case, there will still be some abuse. It is impossible to put a separate controller for each purchase, who would monitor everything, ”says Serazhetdinov.

Yarovaya and Starshinov also propose to oblige contractors and performers to report all subcontractors almost at the stage of the application, regardless of the amount of the contract. Serazhetdinov does not support this amendment: “This measure does not seem entirely expedient to me. This will increase the costs of the participants themselves, in some cases it will be impossible to apply. It is rather difficult to foresee in advance what kind of work the subcontractors will be involved in. Especially when we are talking about large contracts, mainly construction contracts, it is problematic to describe the entire chain of co-executors here. They say that the co-executors drain money, which they then cash out. But then this will be done through co-executors of the second, third level. Increasing controllers will not solve the problem. The more actions, the more time it takes to control. "

Roman Serazhetdinov, like Irina Rukina, sees the introduction of electronic trading (the relevant law was passed by the State Duma in the first reading), as well as Irina Rukina, solving problems with the opacity of public procurement. According to him, document circulation will decrease, automated control over the customer’s actions and the content of documents will appear. Now, when the competition is held, only the commission of the customer sees the application. The control authorities intervene if there is any appeal.

“Deputy Yarovaya, with his amendments, apparently wants to block channels for theft, but each tightening will generate more and more shadow schemes and ridiculous situations,” Igor Melamed, Director General of the Regional Development Center, comments on the legislative initiative. He recalls the catastrophic flood that hit the Far East in the summer of 2013. Federal Law No. 44-FZ "On the contract system in the procurement of goods, works, services to meet state and municipal needs" does not say anything about how to act in emergency situations. People caught in the disaster zone had to be urgently provided with food and everything they needed, and officials from the supervisory authorities said that this should be done through a competition. The competition takes a month and a half, and the victims needed help immediately. “Nobody wanted to take responsibility and did not understand how it is to feed people without a competition and not go to jail. As a result, the decision on this issue was made at the highest level. Each tightening requires a number of explanations, when and how to act, otherwise there will be violations of one or the other all the time, people will look around and write requests, demanding clarifications, ”the expert fears.

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