Was there a dominance of expensive cars on Prozorro in 2023, considering the amount of news about scandalous, expensive, and dubious orders funded by the budget as a whole? The DOZORRO project traditionally reports on the changes in the fleets of public institutions in the country.

We downloaded information about all procurements of passenger cars in 2023. Then we manually removed specific vehicles falling under this classification, including ambulances, snow and swamp vehicles of the State Emergency Service, and collection cars.

While we were preparing this text, the Nikcenter Journalism Center published their analysis of car procurement in 2023. We decided not to forgo publishing our material, as we believe that these analyses will complement each other.

To explore what passenger cars were procured in previous years, please follow 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, until 2018.

Almost half of the cars are low-budget crossovers

Last year, 3.8 thousand cars were procured on Prozorro with a total value of UAH 3.7 billion. This figure is nearly identical to the procurement in 2021 before the full-scale invasion. However, during that period, nearly 5 thousand cars were covered because of lower prices.

In 2023, the largest number of procurements – almost every sixth – was announced in November, at the end of the budget year. Another peak month was June. Overall, 73% of the cars were procured through competitive procedures, while the remaining were procured directly from sellers.

The Renault Duster, a budget crossover, continues to be the absolute leader in the number of cars procured on Prozorro. 1.6 thousand of them were ordered, i.e. 42% of total number. The second is the compact Renault Express van (211), and the third is the Mitsubishi L200 all-wheel-drive pickup truck (178). Toyota Corolla and Skoda Octavia are also very popular.

73% of the procured cars cost up to UAH 1 million.

Vehicles for the military

Have vehicles for the Armed Forces of Ukraine been procured? In short, yes. But it is difficult to determine exactly how many. Procuring entities rarely specify in a procurement’s name that the vehicle is specifically intended for the military. Only 210 cars have keywords in their orders. This is not the entire number though. We can assume that at least used SUVs are ordered for fighters, along with some cars in the procurements for law enforcement officers.

The biggest procuring entities

In general, law enforcement agencies dominate among the law enforcement and special structures of Ukraine in procurement. Public procurements by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service of Ukraine, and military units alone account for 63% of the procured cars. They usually procured special purpose vehicles. As a rule, these are models of typical civilian vehicles equipped with specific features such as flashing lights, sirens, walkie-talkies, and a safe for storing weapons.

The National Police procured 1.2 thousand cars worth UAH 1.1 billion

According to our calculations, the majority of cars were procured collectively by the main Department of the National Police and its subordinate structures, excluding the security police.

Specialized cars based on Renault Duster account for more than 70% of total procurement (864). Among the rest, Toyota Hilux was the most popular, with 35 cars. The same pickups were procured by Liut National Police Assault Brigade. Next, there are 29 Skoda Octavias procured for the Service Center for National Police Units of Ukraine, as well as for police units in Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk regions.

What more expensive cars were found in police procurements:

Security police – 339 cars worth 285 million

The Security Police ranks as the second leader in car procurements It also reports to the National Police but has other functions, generates income, and is not directly financed from the budget. This is the state security guard service, and it is the only one among such structures that has a permit to carry and use weapons. It provides services to both public and private customers, including the protection of offices and apartments.

The top three cars here are Renault Duster with 170 cars, Toyota Corolla with 50, and Renault Express with 31. Among the more expensive cars, we can mention the Skoda Superb priced at UAH 1.7 million in the Poltava region, the Toyota Camry priced at UAH 1.6 million, Volkswagen Caravelle priced at UAH 2.3 million in Kyiv, and Hyundai Staria at priced at UAH 1.7 million in the Odesa region.

Security Service of Ukraine procured 265 cars worth UAH 339 million

SSU and its regional divisions are at the third place. Similar to previous procuring entities, the SSU acquired 54 Renault Duster cars for a total of UAH 48 million. Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was also popular. In total, 40 such cars were procured, with 37 ordered by the central body of the SSU for defense procedures. Depending on the configuration, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado costs in the range of UAH 1.3 million to UAH 1.8 million.

In addition, the SSU and its units ordered 16 Hyundai Staria each (priced from UAH 1.5 million to UAH 2.4 million) as well as 13 units each of Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia, and Mitsubishi Outlander. They also ordered 9 units each of Toyota RAV4 and Citroen C-elysee. The SSU Department in Dnipropetrovsk region procured Volkswagen Touareg for UAH 2.9 million. In response to the inquiry about the purpose of the car, the procuring entity stated that the SSU uses vehicles for operational search, counterintelligence, counter-sabotage, and anti-terrorist activities.

The SSU procured electric vehicles as well. For example, 2 Honda M-NV worth UAH 1.1 million in Vinnytsia region. A Hyundai Kona, priced at UAH 1.2 million, was purchased, one each, in the Rivne and Ternopil regions.

Information about the make and model of 17 more cars purchased by the SSU is classified, with only the unit price visible on Prozorro.

State Enterprise “Forests of Ukraine” procured 186 cars worth UAH 224 million

The young state-owned enterprise significantly expanded its fleet last year. The all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi L200 pickups were the most frequently procured. 97 orders worth UAH 137 million. Depending on the configuration, such cars cost UAH 1.4-1.5 million. The second place was taken by 40 Renault Dusters worth UAH 840,000 each. The third place is secured by 33 SUVs Suzuki Jimny, UAH 1.1 million each.

Additionally, the State Enterprise “Forests of Ukraine” procured 10 Skoda Octavia, 5 Peugeot Landtrek, and one Opel Zafira.

The state-owned enterprise refused to respond to our question about the purpose of those cars.

MIA Service Centers procured 145 cars worth UAH 124 million

In 2023, the number of service centers conducting driving exams reduced from 148 to 63, and their fleets were replenished with training cars for practical exams. Toyota Corolla was the most popular with 67 cars procured. Most of them were ordered by the Main Service Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with a single car priced at UAH 906,000. The Renault Duster was the second most popular, with 23 cars ordered. The Citroen C-elysee was third.

In addition to procuring new cars, the service centers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs also procured services and equipment to update the system for conducting theoretical and practical exams for obtaining driver’s licenses.

Expensive orders

Four specialized cars based on Volkswagen Multivan BULLI long UAH 3.8 million each were ordered by the State Security Department of Ukraine. The contract was signed back in 2022, but the delivery took place in the spring of 2023. The same structure procured at least one special vehicle based on the Volkswagen Multivan for UAH 3.5 million.

Kherson Regional Municipal Emergency Rescue Service procured a used armored Toyota Land Cruiser 200 for UAH 2.2 million. The car was ordered directly from the seller, with the justification specifying that it is intended for “ensuring the urgent need to restore facilities damaged as a result of military operations and the explosion of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station Dam.”

The Lviv Municipal Enterprise “Ratusha-Service” procured several Ford Transit vehicles for the military at UAH 2.2 million each, as well as a number of other, less expensive cars.

The non-standard expensive procurements included:

  • Hyundai Staria worth UAH 2.5 million for the State Enterprise “State Expert Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.” That car was in the top-tier 7-Top Bronze configuration, which is the most expensive.
  • A Hyundai Staria priced at UAH 2 million was procured for the transportation of students at Luhansk State Medical University. Due to the war, in March 2023, the university moved from Rubizhne to the Rivne region.
  • A Hyundai Staria, priced at almost UAH 2 million, was procured for the children’s health camp “Zacharovana Dolyna” in Transcarpathia. That camp is a municipal enterprise of the Kyiv City Council.
  • Two Skoda Kodiaqs, each priced at almost UAH 1.9 million, were procured for the State Enterprise “Agency of Local Roads of the Poltava region.”
  • Mitsubishi Pajero for almost UAH 2 million for the Department of Municipal Security of the Odesa City Council.
  • Toyota Land Cruiser Prado worth UAH 2.1 million for Municipal Enterprise “City Management of Affairs” of Dnipro City Council. The same car was procured by local Municipal Enterprise “Municipal Guard.”

Were all the cars from the last list, and those procured in the last year in general, really needed? We are not sure about that. However, a more accurate answer to this question can only be obtained by directly consulting with the procuring entity. Therefore, we encourage you to always contact the procurement initiator if you are uncertain about its feasibility and to publicly address such cases. A healthy dialogue will contribute to improving procurements within your community and the entire country!

The material was prepared within the framework of the USAID/UK aid TAPAS Project/Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services

Source: zn.ua