Transparency International Ukraine supports the detectives’ efforts and hopes for objective investigation
According to the documents included in the register of court rulings, the NABU suspects that the National Police overpaid 30% at procurement of hybrid offroaders Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 30%. This information is included in the ruling of Solomyansky District Court. Detectives requested the investigating judge to allow the implementation of special technical measures but were turned down. The part with the reasoning of anti-corruption bureau representatives includes the following:
“It has been established in the course of investigation that the officials of DU “Center of Departmental Service of the National Police of Ukraine”, founded by the National Police of Ukraine, by acting purposefully and abusing their position to serve third party interests, in collusion with officials of TOV “Niko Diamant,” aided by officials of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, in violation of articles 3, 35 of Law of Ukraine “On Public Procurement,” articles 2, 3 of Law of Ukraine “On peculiarities of making procurement of goods, works and services for guaranteed ensuring of the defense needs,” while making the procurement of “Special service vehicles with hybrid system ‘Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’ or an equivalent” for the needs of the National Police of Ukraine, groundlessly used the negotiation procurement method, which created non-competitive conditions in the public procurement procedure with the aim of concluding a procurement agreement with a preemptively determined legal entity TOV “Niko Diamant” at prices that exceed fair market prices by over 30%, thus incurring losses on the national budget in the amount of over UAH 240 million, which corresponds to the description of a criminal offense with liability determined by part 2 of article 364 of Criminal Code of Ukraine.
In his blog on DOZORRO, Transparency International Ukraine expert Ivan Lakhtionov remarked: “It is hard to speak about the evidence provided by the NABU detectives, but the refusal to grant the request seems strange. We believe in the NABU and hope for further objective investigation of this case.”
Let it be reminded that the Center of Departmental Service of the National Police of Ukraine announced the procurement with the negotiation method for defense needs on November 16, 2016. They planned to purchase 635 vehicles “Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV” for the amount of UAH 959.5 million. Then, on December 14, the Customer concluded an agreement with TOV “Niko Diamant” for the amount of UAH 959.4 million. Activist Oleksii Tamrazov drew attention to the excessive price of the vehicles.
Transparency International Ukraine experts established violation of the law. For instance, the procurement could not use the negotiation method for defense needs, as purchase of cars for police officers does not in fact satisfy defense needs. Moreover, the law used for the procurement procedure is not actually applicable for the Center of Departmental Service of the National Police of Ukraine. Another questionable point was the 100% upfront payment. TI Ukraine insisted that the agreement had to be terminated and a new competitive public tender-based procurement announced.
At the beginning of February, Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov stated that the National Police of Ukraine received documented confirmation from the Mitsubishi Motors corporation that they were willing to provide a 13% discount for Mitsubishi vehicles, which would allow to purchase 90 additional cars.
Public Audit Service responded to the request of Transparency International that the agreement on vehicle procurement contained elements of “ invalidity,” as DU “Center of Departmental Service of the National Police of Ukraine” is not on the list of purchasers that can make procurement with the negotiation method for defense needs. However, later the Service changed their stance for the opposite.