MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has found that a St. Petersburg shipyard did violate regulations while holding a tender for steel supplies, as indicated in a complaint by opposition figurehead and anticorruption activist Alexei Navalny, the FAS press service said Tuesday.
Admiralteiskiye Verfi (Admiralty Shipyard), a subsidiary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, has admitted to breaching established procedures in conducting a tender for the purchase of 4.3 tons of stainless steel with a starting price of 962,000 rubles (about $30,000), according to the FAS.
“The complaint has been deemed valid,” the press service said.
In his complaint, Navalny implied that the way the shipyard handled the bidding procedure was not transparent enough and created room for corruption.
The tender was officially announced on the Fabrikant.ru website in mid-February, but some Cyrillic characters in it were replaced with Latin letters, making it difficult for a potential contractor to find the call for bids using an online search engine. This violates existing rules since it limits competition, Navalny stated in his complaint.
“The Latin letter ‘c’ was used in the Russian word ’stal’ [spelled сталь, steel], which complicates the keyword search for a potential contract,” FAS said.
In addition, the announcement was published less than 10 days before the deadline for bids, while notification of the tender, the relevant documentation and a draft contract were not published at all, the service said.
The FAS has ordered the shipyard to conduct a new tender in compliance with standing regulations.