Officials will be punished for non-publication of information on the tender website
Oleg Fomichev, State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Economic Development:
- From mid-October 2015, the Federal Property Management Agency launched the sale of the property under the new rules. Now information on the sale of the seized property shall be published in a single source - on the website torgi.gov.ru.
This website has already placed information on holding more than 20 types of public tenders: the sale, leasing of state and municipal non-residential buildings, structures and premises, land and forest plots, subsoil plots, water objects, the distribution of fish catch quotas and logging of forest plantations, places for placing of advertising designs, sale of seized apartments and cars, land plots for housing construction, - all these assets are interested both to business and the population.
It is not a secret that the state owns lots of property, natural resources and land. Property is sold and private capital is raised at tenders. This is done in order to find an optimal, effective proposal. Before setting up the site torgi.gov.ru, tender information was published in a huge number of publications and various websites. There were cases when the newspaper was published in a limited edition and even that edition was bought out by stakeholders, and only a couple of copies of the newspaper were stored in the administration for inspection.
Maybe you remember the story published in the media, when a "luxury" class car was sold for a few hundred thousand rubles. The problem was that access to information on the sale was considerably limited. This situation allowed unscrupulous officials to sell property to affiliates at low prices.
In 2010, it was decided to make public all the processes of sale of state property, state-owned and municipal property rights and limited resources. In this case, the information should be accessible to any interested person without any cost.
The foundation of the website torgi.gov.ru was laid by the lease of state and municipal property. The conclusion of lease agreements was preceded by a public offer, placed on the Federal Internet-portal - torgi.gov.ru. This means that from that time any contract was concluded not in the offices, the entrance to which was known only to the select few.
After this site was set up, any interested person can not only free find the necessary information on the tender from anywhere in the world where there is Internet, but also follow the progress of tender and its results.
Creating a unified platform for all state and municipal tender procedures, the aim was to make an independent national resource. This website at times reduced costs, including financial ones, on the support of tender procedures, reduced the burden primarily on municipal officials, and local budgets.
The website allows any citizen, mainly the entrepreneur, wherever he is, to find in the search box what and in which region he needs, and to receive up to date selection of state offers.
For the time of the site existence, more than a million items has already been sold. More than three hundred thousand unique bids are placed a month. With such indicators, the website torgi.gov.ru is one of the largest databases of free ads, if you want, "bulletin boards".
Now we can say that the public tender portal aims to become a single platform for raising private investment in the public sector. And these investments are estimated in billions of rubles in budget revenues.
Overall, the tender website solves several problems at once: attracting investors to participate in the tender, increasing competition in them, ensuring transparency of the process of selling assets, reducing the risks of corruption.
- Why government agencies cannot advertise for sale at nationwide popular sites?
– We only welcome, when government agencies, in addition to the mandatory ways of informing, look for other opportunities to attract applicants to the assets. We proactively set up regional portals, where you can also find information on the tender, held within the boundaries of the region, for example, the single portal of tenders of the Moscow region. However, the publication of information in these sources is not mandatory, as in the case of the site torgi.gov.ru. In addition, many state agencies duplicate information on their official websites. In the case of the sale of federal property, announcements about the tenders can also be found on the website of the Federal Property Management Agency.
- What will be if the organizer of the tender does not want to post information on the tender on the website? For example, the official plans to sell the state object on the cheap to "his people".
- Legal acts in force prescribe the tender organizers to post, in a mandatory manner, information on contests and tenders on the website torgi.gov.ru. If the organizer did not post the notice on the website, any interested person, whose rights have been infringed, can complain to the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the results of the tender will be annulled. And one more thing, from January 1, 2016 officials will be subject to administrative liability for the non-publication of information on the tender website.
- Is business interested in participating in the state investment tenders or during the crisis companies do not actively participate in the tenders?
- It is the economy - the business participates in tenders, when it sees the benefit of investing in the property sold or rent by the state. Recently, the state has sold many such assets, although, we have to recognize the decrease in investment activity in recent years. Of great interest are subsoil plots, forest land, land for housing, and the shares of state-owned companies. However, not all tenders conducted by the state turn out to be effective. Public tenders sometimes fail.
- Why does this happen? What should be done to avoid this?
- One of the main reasons why a tender for the transfer of rights in respect of public assets do not bring any results is the lack of public information on ongoing tenders. Private business and potential investors sometimes don't even know that the state has put out particular assets for tender. The lack of information leads to the fact that the contest or tender for sale (rent) of some asset is declared, but there no organizations applying for participation in the tender. Thus, the tender for the sale of one and the same asset can be repeated, and the result will be the same.
Each month, the site records more than half a million visitors. I can say that this is not enough. But still more active activities of specific officials, involved in property matters, could make trading more efficient. It can be road shows, public shows of assets to attract investors, mailing to interested companies.
The Ministry of Economic Development Ministry for its part will intensify its efforts to promote the website. Because, despite its growing traffic, many people still do not know about it, while the use of the resource could help business in solving important problems.
- What information does the website provide for now?
- Now website allows you to find a suitable offer on the purchase of state land or forest, a proposal for the rent or purchase of the property for sitting a production workshop, office or shop, the purchase of residential property or car. For five years we have passed since the launch of the site, the number of tender types, to be mandatory published on a single web site, has exceeded twenty.
This year, the site publishes proposals to provide sites for placement of advertising designs, licenses for provision of communication services, on the sale of seized property. From January 1, 2016, the portal torgi.gov.ru will provide information on the projects of state-private partnership. Such projects also provide for competitive selection of private investors.
Moreover, interested persons don't need to monitor every day new offers, so on the website there is a special opportunity to receive a free subscription to assets according to certain criteria and to receive daily a collection of assets.
- What other opportunities does the website give to users?
- We get a lot of emails with questions related to the organization and conduct of tenders. And, despite the fact that many issues are within the purview of other departments (for example, the Ministry of Environment is responsible for the sphere of subsoil use; the Ministry of Agriculture – for the allocation of catch quotas of aquatic bioresources), we are trying to provide users with the answers to all the questions, not limited to the site functioning. For that we have launched forum on the website, keep pages on social networks, and accept applications at a special e-mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The site is becoming a single window of entry for citizens interested in the tender, intending to purchase the property.
For several years, all complaints of violation of tender procedures, decisions and determinations of the antimonopoly bodies have been posted on the website. From this site you can go to the portal to submit complaints to the FAS.
- In what ways do you see the future development of the site?
- Here the strategic task is to form a powerful system of the analysis of market conditions. It should give statistics on prices, revenues, number of bidders, the idea of what the demand for a particular property is, and what factors hinder efficient trading, and so on. Every citizen and entrepreneur must know who, where and for what price enters into the property transaction with the state. All information will contribute to sound policies in the property sphere.
Ideally, the site should be a fully functional resource that allows you to see the whole picture of the turnover of public and private property, the sale of which is controlled by the state.
As far as tactical objectives are concerned. We are now developing in two main areas: in scope and depth. First, we are trying to increase the range of tenders, for which information will be contained on the site. The number of tender types should grow. We're working on it. We have substantive proposals, we submit them to the government and it, as a rule, supports us.
The Ministry of Economic Development is finalizing a bill to transfer to tendering the sale of the property of the SUEs and MUEs. It defines the site torgi.gov.ru as the source of publication of notices of such sales. In the near future we plan to introduce a bill to the government.
Also we need to finalize the legislative definition of the site as an indispensable source for the tenders for allocating sites for advertising designs and communication licenses. We have made special sections, and they actively publish relevant information, that proves that the decision is right. It is now necessary to legalize the existing practice.
And some words about one type of tenders - providing sites for non-stationary retail outlets - we have found understanding with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The bill on regulation of non-stationary trade prepared by the government agency presents the requirement to publish tender information on the website.
Secondly, it is necessary to enrich with the information those types of trades that are already on the portal. So far it mostly contains the most basic information on offered property, price, date and location. But often the assets at the tender are a "pig in a poke" - the information is not enough for decision making. To avoid this, it is necessary to oblige the tender organizers to post the report on the assessment of property, photos of the property, and to make reference to the public cadastral map.
There is still a difficult way to consolidate on this resource all the necessary information on the activities of the state in property issues. We are striving for maximum openness.