Every year national and municipal institutions spend hundreds of billions via ProZorro, buying repair services, vehicles, furniture or other goods. However, procuring entities and participants often try to make money by scheming with the procurement. For instance, inviting an affiliate to bid. Transparency International Ukraine and YouControl presented a free tool on December 12 that allows instantly to identify conspiracies in public procurement via ProZorro.
Public procurement legislation is based on the principle of healthy competition. This must guarantee that the best offer will be chosen as opposed to nepotism. For open bidding to take place, at least two participants are required. So participants wanting to win often just register another company, which results in the company essentially competing against itself. Another common situation in ProZorro is procuring entities inviting companies owned by their friends and relatives to participate.
Anti-competitive coordinated action entails liability, since this causes damages to the state. In Ukraine, the agency overseeing this is the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine. If the conspiracy is proven, the participants will be forced to pay a fine of up to 10% of their income during the previous tax season, they will end up in the so-called black list and will be blocked from participating in bidding for three years.
The developers hope that their tool will enable active businesses, investigative journalists, civil society activists and supervisory agencies to find coordinated anti-competitive action and inefficient spending of budget funds much faster. The evidence will help the business to defend its rights.
“The long-awaited integration of the analytical system YouControl with the monitoring portal DOZORRO has made possible identifying a conspiracy with just a few clicks. But it is important that civil society activists, journalists and businesses should not stop there but instead alert local offices of the Anti-Monopoly Committee. It is the most effective way to bring dishonest procuring entities and participants to responsibility for coordinated anti-competitive action. It does not cost anything but your time to file that report,” said DOZORRO coordinator Ivan Lakhtionov.
“It was our long-time dream to implement this feature together with our partners. I really like tools that enable citizens to control how effectively the public sector works. The more convenient this oversight is, the more results it will produce and the more people it will attract. I think it will contribute to zero tolerance to corruption and thus its reduction,” commented YouControl CEO and founder Serhii Milman.
How Does the Tool Work?
The tool works on the basis of two platforms: the monitoring portal DOZORRO and the analytical system YouControl. On the DOZORRO website tenders are filtered by region, procuring entities, participants, winners or sector. Then, among the 40 identifiable risks, you select “YouControl: connections between participants” or “YouControl: connections between the procuring entity and the participants.” Then you go to the YouControl website by clicking the analytical system logo. Connections are identified based on 8 criteria according to the data available in the unified state register as of the moment of procurement: names, telephone numbers, addresses, founders, beneficiaries, directors, legal successors or subsidiaries.