Center for Provision of Production, a branch of Public Joint Stock Company Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia), has once against found itself at the center of a corruption scandal, the Holos Ukrainy newspaper reported.
The state-owned company is accused of protectionism towards the company Hanuman in connection with the purchase of fasteners (bolts of different types).
Hanuman was named the winner of the tender. Its offer was UAH 20 million higher than the lowest offer submitted by one of the other participants, MaxMed International LLC. Hanuman, with a UAH 129 million offer, won the tender, compared with the UAH 110 million offer submitted by the latter.
Civil initiative Anti-Corruption Monitor has pointed to corruption during the tender process. Activists noted that the winner company had not conducted any commercial activity over the past five years and had recently re-registered in the name of a resident of a village in Sumy region.
According to the newspaper, incumbent First Deputy Head of the Center for Provision of Production Eduard Pushkarenko is a spouse of the assistant to Head of the Verkhovna Rada Transport Committee Yaroslav Dubnevych. Apart from this, the decision on selecting the winning company could have been made with the participation of Head of the Tender Committee of the Center for Provision of Production I. Rolko and Board member of Ukrzaliznytsia S. Mykhalchuk.
MaxMed International is said to have appealed to the permanent administrative collegium of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) to deal with the claims on violations of the public procurement legislation. The AMCU collegium ordered Ukrzaliznytsia`s Center for Provision of Production to cancel all decisions regarding the mentioned tender. However, the Center failed to comply with the instructions, according to the report, and announced a new tender with an estimated value of UAH 117.5 million, which was higher than the bid offered by MaxMed International LLC.
Representatives of the company once again appealed to the AMCU. The consideration of their claim was scheduled for August 17. The company stressed that the Center for Provision of Production has to carry out procurement in the interests of the state, instead of front companies and corrupt officials. In addition, MaxMed International noted that the delay in procuring fasteners puts the security of the Ukrainian railways at risk.
Notably, the failed tender is not the first such incident involving the Center for Provision of Production. Recently, journalists reported on another tender held by Ukrzaliznytsia where the winner`s offer exceeded the lowest offer by 20%.
These incidents are taking place despite the recent arrests of former managers of the state-owned enterprise who have been charged for their involvement in similar schemes.