Every day the Prozorro system handles between hundreds and tens of thousands of procurement reports. Most of them are filed by government agencies, meaning that such procurement is performed with taxpayer funds.
It could be the government buying food for your child’s school cafeteria or allocating resources towards major road maintenance. Any information regarding such procurement may be viewed on the Prozorro website.
As unfortunate as it may be, even the most transparent public procurement system does not guarantee protection from abuse of power. Corruption, procurement of low-quality goods and services, mishandling of public funds – if you suspect the involvement of these violations in public procurement, you should notify the authorities or related NGOs.
What kinds of violations are there?
The type of violation defines the regulatory body you need to contact and as such, it is highly important to recognize the most common violations in procurement.
Contract Terms Not Fulfilled, Partially Fulfilled, or Subpar Results
For instance, you know that your local department of public works paid a contractor to repave the asphalt in the yard of your condominium. You have the found the related report on Prozorro and reviewed the contract. According to it, the asphalt is supposed to have already been repaved, but in reality, the work has not even begun. What is to be done?
First, you must phone or write to the contractor. The procurement report page always has the contact information of the person responsible for the act. Perhaps due to unforeseen circumstances the contract fulfillment deadline had been extended and work is to commence tomorrow?
If the contractor cannot or does not want to provide an explanation for the delay, you should contact the necessary regulatory body. The government agency handling public procurement is the State Audit Service of Ukraine.
Auditors may begin monitoring the act of procurement and force the contractor to cease further violations. They may also decide to conduct a full-scale audit of the public works department or the contractor’s business.
For some inexplicable reason, repaving your yard cost the department of public works much more than repairing a perfectly identical yard in a different neighborhood, such as the one your friends live in. What is to be done?
Like in the previous case, contact the contractor first. The price is affected by a multitude of factors – work difficulty, cost of materials etc.
If you choose to investigate the matter further, you might discover a more sinister reason: perhaps the contractor that paves asphalt in your yard is a favorite of your public works department. The contractor paves all yards in your neighborhood, stifling companies willing to do the same for less.
In this case the mishandling of public funds by a government official may be of interest to the police.
There were only two participants in the yard repaving tender: the company that belongs to your neighbor and the company that belongs to your neighbor’s wife. Relatives may not engage in market competition. Any attempts to do so are classified as conspiracy to commit fraud.
Unscrupulous tender participants represent two, three or sometimes even five companies. Those companies may have been founded by the same person or led by their relatives. Some particularly ingenious participants attempt to compete with their own companies by abusing the legal status of a private entrepreneur.
If you are aware of a conspiracy to commit tender fraud taking place, contact your regional Anti-Monopoly Committee office. Be sure to provide all the evidence you have in your letter.
The person organizing the tender should also be made aware of any potential conspiracy.
Your local public works department may have paid for yard repairs with COVID-19 relief funds. This is, of course, a violation, as repairs are certainly not on the list of things that may be purchased with those funds.
First, you should contact the contractor. This could have been a technical error and a wrong procedure was selected when the contract was being filed in the system (the procurement size would have to be less than 50 thousand UAH).
However, your local public works department may have deliberately done this to avoid conducting a fair tender. In that case, be sure to contact the State Audit Service.
Having difficulty? The DOZORRO community can help you
Our DOZORRO project has been monitoring public procurement since November 2016. The team behind it has created and maintains the DOZORRO community – a network of NGOs that monitor public procurement and report any detected violations to regulatory and law enforcement bodies.
If you discover any procurement-related violations, press “Review Procurement on DOZORRO” on the selected procurement’s Prozorro page. Provide all information regarding the violation that you possess. If our experts confirm the presence of a violation, they will report it to the necessary regulatory bodies.
On the DOZORRO website you may also find instructions on how to correctly prepare a letter to a regulatory body, should you wish to do it yourself:
Choose the type of procurement and the type of violation.
Upload the letter draft and fill in the necessary fields.
Print, sign and mail the letter to the regulatory body’s office address.
We must alert you of the fact that some instructions had not yet been updated to accommodate the changes introduced by the 19 April 2020 revision of the Public Procurement Law. To receive additional consultation, contact us at the DOZORRO Facebook page.
Do not let violations slide. Public procurement is a way of providing all of us with high-quality public services. It is performed with taxpayer funds. None of us enjoy seeing our money being squandered or stolen.