Yabloko Anti-Corruption Policy Centre revealed collusion in the provision of PR services for the Rostov regional authorities
Press Release, 11.04.2017
The Yabloko Anti-Corruption Policy Centre found signs of collusion between suppliers (a cartel) in public procurement to cover the work of the Governor, the Legislative Assembly and other authorities of the Rostov Region in the mass media for the amount of 158.5 million rubles (approximately 2.3 million Euro). Most of the state contracts for PR went to the company owned by Sergei Sheremetyev, assistant to a deputy of the City Duma of Rostov-on-Don from the ruling United Russia party. Sergei Mitrokhin, member of YABLOKO’s Federal Political Committee and head of the Anti-Corruption Policy Centre, demanded an investigation into the case and asked the Russian government to stop public procurement for public relations of state officials.
In most cases, contracts were concluded at the maximum price, the average bid amounted to only 0.3 per cent of the initial price. False competitors in the auctions did not attempt to reduce the price in all the tenders.
The experts of Yabloko’s Anti-Corruption Police Centre believe that the problem is not only in the collusion, but also in the legalized purchase of custom-made articles in the media for the regional authorities.
“Ordering PR in newspapers and TV channels has become common for officials. Every year regional allot from their budgets from dozens of millions rubles to 1.4 billion rubles for PR (as was in the Moscow Region in 2015). Special PR agencies and corrupt media writing customized materials that praise the authorities work in this field. The corrupt practices of such PR is further aggravated by favoritism in the tenders. This doubles corruption,” Sergei Mitrokhin says.
In 2016, four authorities of the Rostov region – the regional government, the Legislative Assembly, the city administration and the Duma of Rostov – spent 192.1 million rubles to cover their activities in the media.
Mitrokhin has lodged an allegation on the signs of cartel collusion to the Regional Directorate of the Federal Antimonopoly Service for the Rostov Region. He also forwarded to the Government of Russia his proposal to stop procurement for public relations for authorities of all levels. The statement on the signs of corruption was also sent to the Federal Security Service.
Posted: April 12th, 2017 under YABLOKO against Corruption.