Civic activists returned over ₴ 299 million to the state budget

How did it happen that Lviv National Agrarian University paid ₴ 3 million to the Technology for Business Company not for computers, but for ... fertilizers?! How did a firm of Boryslav District and Drohobych City Councils' members, in dubious circumstances, win the bid to repair a house for children with special needs?

11042305 773164879484154 5012944006822550073 nNeither the Prosecutor's Office nor ordinary Ukrainian citizens would ever consider these and other interesting questions without interventions of the Tender and Crime CSO initiative.
National and local government agencies often need to purchase goods, services, and works to fulfil their functions. According to international standards, such purchases are handled through fair and open competition among suppliers to deliver the required products or services. The government spends public funds on behalf of citizens who as taxpayers contribute to the budget. That's why, they have a right to monitor and oversee the distribution and effectiveness of public spending, including accuracy and efficiency of public procurement as well as transparency of these procedures as the main mechanism for budget allocation. The question is whether ordinary citizens will do it. Besides reaching a civil maturity, one also needs to understand all those complicated figures. Therefore, public procurement in Ukraine is permeated by corrupt practices.
Simka-MLviv procurement experts from the Ukrainian Galician Assembly decided to shine a light on it. In the last year, they have checked each (!) tender in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Volyn, and Zakarpattia regions worth hundreds of millions of hryvnias. They analysed the conduct of government tenders and reported any violations to police, which in turn imposed fines or opened criminal proceedings against violators.
The monitoring, carried out by the experts, demonstrated that the worst situation regarding public procurement is in Zakarpattia. "Zakarpattia is "tender Sicily" of Ukraine. Even local police completely ignore the tender legislation. The first criminal proceedings opened as a result of our work was a tender in the Office of the State Security Service in Zakarpattia region," said Myroslav Simka, the coordinator of the initiative. In Volyn region, most of the identified violations were in Kovel worth 12 out of 17 million.
In order to prevent violations of legislation and stop the corruption schemes, the experts analysed documents for over 8,000 purchases to detect any violations and to terminate corrupt contracts that led to economy of the state budget. In 2015, based on the facts of revealed violations, the experts facilitated over 90 MPs' appeals and returned over ₴ 299 million to the budget.
The initiative is supported by the Democratization, Human Rights and Civil Society Development Programme, implemented by UNDP Ukraine and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.