How much have officials paid for gasoline, spent on buying things or utility and other services? Usually these questions are answered very reluctantly. Although, such information a priori should be open, because it is our tax money.
Where the information is hidden?
The Department of Labor and Social Welfare of Rakhiv district state administration this year will pay 1,100,000 UAH to the "Ukrposhta." Has it been mentioned anywhere in the media? Not at all – Rakhiv district social workers have not informed the public why postal services cost so much. If we divide 1,100,000 by 365 days of the year, it appears that Rakhiv department of social welfare is going to send 3,013 UAH worth of mail every day, including weekends.
The sum is huge, however – quite real. Internet publication "Nashi Hroshi", which specializes in covering public procurement issues, researched: over the first 2 months of this year they have already conducted tenders at over 66 billion hryvnias. That means that every day in our country, government agencies buy a billion worth of goods and services.
However, the average person who pays taxes knows almost nothing about those procurements.
"Transparency International in Ukraine" have monitored web sites of local councils and executive bodies. The studies have shown that most of them disclose no information about public procurements at all. And those who do disclose sometimes do it in such a way that the average person can not understand anything about it.
Information – by small bits
On the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration site, the section on procurement is "encrypted": first you need to go to the window: "Economics. Business. Investments", and only then you can see the information. As of March 5, the Procurement Plan for 2013 has not yet published at the site. The only available information is that the Philharmonic is to buy gas at 406,680 UAH. The volume of the gas is not specified.
Neither it is specified what goods and services Transcarpathian Regional State Administration bought last year. Only dry statistics: 527 purchases have been made, almost 582 million hryvnias have been spent.
On the web page of Uzhgorod City Council, the information on procurement is contained in the "Auctions, Tenders" section. It specifies what it is that the City Council want to buy this year. But it is not mentioned for how much. Next to "The expected value of purchases" line there is only blank space. So Uzhgorod citizens do not know how much the city council pay for gas, electricity, purchase of drugs for medical institutions, construction and reconstruction of buildings and so on. There is no information about the purchase of food for schools either.
Meanwhile, only in the "Journal of Public Procurement" it can be learnt that, for example, Uzhgorod specialized school № 3 will pay almost 17,000 UAH to the entrepreneur Hrytsyshchuk for hot meals. Also on the city council site, as well as on the RSA web page, there is no exact information on terms and conditions of tender participation.
Millions – for water, thousands – for food
If you really want to know what is bought for budget money, you can refer to the said "Journal of Public Procurement". In this publication, unlike other media, purchasers are obliged to inform about their plans. So from the electronic version of the "Journal" we know that in January 2013 in Transcarpathia they already planned agreements for thousands and even millions hryvnias.
In particular, Uzhgorod National University has to pay the city "Vodokanal" 2,128,000 UAH for water supply, sewerage, rain and snow drainage. And for electricity, this year the main university of the region will pay to "Zakarpattyaoblenergo" PJSC even more – 5.22 million hryvnias. There is no information about this nor about the tender itself on the university site.
The enterprise "Transcarpathian Oblavtodor", which is responsible for the repair of the roads in the region, plans to purchase new equipment. In particular, earthmover for 635,000 UAH, 2 garbage trucks – for 896,000 UAH, 2 gritters – for 412,000 and another 3 gritters for 755,000 UAH. As of March 5, the procurement plan of this enterprise for this year has not yet been published on the official website of the "Ukravtodor".
In the Regional State Administration they wanted to go around the equator
The "Nashi Hroshi" publication have analyzed the most publicized purchases in Transcarpathia last year. Among them, there is the purchase of the "Hyundai" car for 267,000 UAH by the state company "Mukachevo forestry". This is one of the most expensive models of the car.
Last year in March, Transcarpathian Regional State Administration signed a contract for 400,000 UAH with its own transport company. The "Nashi Hroshi" calculated: the cost of travel from the winner was 71 kopiykas per kilometer, so for 400,000 UAH they can travel 560,000 km, that is 14 times around the equator.
The Capital Projects Department of Transcarpathian Regional State Administration last summer signed the agreement for the construction of the TB hospital in the village of Nyzhnya Apsha by the end of 2015 for 21.17 million hryvnias. Four companies participated in the tender. Two of them offered to perform the works for less price than that of the winner, but these applications were rejected due to various reasons.
So as you can see, the heads of state and municipal institutions – those that have their own sites – are not too eager to report what, for how much and from whom they buy for budget money. This, of course, can not but to hit upon the idea of corruption in public procurement. Especially, since the information about their terms and conditions is also concealed.