15 Feb 2012 18:45

Moscow discloses almost $1 bln in IT state procurement

Moscow is the first of the major IT buyers to disclose complete figures for its IT government purchases last year in order to expand the potential circle of traders and increase competition.
Analysis carried out by Interfax based on information from the www.zakupki.gov.ru website and information voluntarily provided by the Moscow City IT Department show that Moscow concluded contracts worth 21.3 billion rubles in 2012, saving 5% on them (over 1.1 billion rubles).
Apple was the biggest vendor with the city buying 1.45 billion rubles worth from them.
The biggest telecom service providers were Comcor (4.8 b illion rubles) and MGTS (3.6 billion rubles); for IT it was DPI Projects ((1.6 billion rubles) and Aquarius (1.1 billion rubles).
The research shows that in 77 of 251 trades there was one contender. Savings exceeded 40% when there were more than 5 contenders.
Moscow purchased 3.6% of their IT purchases from small businesses, or 585 million rubles worth.
"By publishing information about our counter agents, purchasing volumes and the main areas of investment, we hope to expand the circle of potential suppliers among the skeptics that believe Moscow has long been entirely divided up and to show vendors that the capital - is a huge market that is worth taking a look at," Moscow government minister and head of the City IT Department Artyem Yermolaev, said at the presentation of the study at the State Procurement-2012 forum.
Transparency will scare off unreliable suppliers and fly-by-night companies, he said.
"In addition, by naming our suppliers we want them to take responsibility for the products and solutions they supply along with officials, because a good name is a serious asset in a market economy," he said.
"Data on procurements at the level of a specific major purchaser is of interest to the traders themselves, both vendor companies and regulatory bodies. However, in addition to analysis and systematization of the data placed in the Russian state procurements portal, they require

More detailed information, which is contained at the core of the accounting systems of the government procurement body. That is why it was so important for us when Moscow voluntarily agreed to provide us with additional information," Interfax Executive Director Vladimir Gerasimov said.
Moscow IT procurement costs around $1 billion per year, which is equivalent to 40% of the budget of all federal agencies for IT in 2011, Yermolaev said.
To improve transparency in the IT field steps need to be taken by other players also, he said. He suggested the Telecoms Ministry, which coordinates the department IT budgets, to think about setting up a similar resource in Russia to ITdashboard.gov, where all U.S. department spending on IT is disclosed.
There are at least a few methods of savings envisaged by federal law N94 that are not reflected in the state procurements portal in a clear way.
"For example, in the case of three-year Internet connection contracts for city institutions, where it is difficult to predict volume in advance, vendors provided a discount per unit for services, while maintaining the overall value of the contract. In the case of major supplies to schools - in coordination with the winner we selected equipment based on real needs. Our own calculations, taking into account these price drop factors, indicate a saving of 10.8%," Yermolaev said.
The analysis shows that in the year, participants trading with the IT Department made 35 complaints to the Federal Antimonopoly service, of which 22 were considered unjustified, 3 were withdrawn and rulings were given on 10 (on changing documentation for 7 and on not giving instructions on 3).

About Interfax

Interfax is the largest diversified information group in the CIS and a recognized leader on the B2B segment of the Russian information market. It started out in 1989 when a group of journalists established an information agency that became the first non-government channel of day-to-day political and economic information on the USSR.
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About Moscow City IT Department

The Moscow City Information Technology Department is the Moscow government subdivision that deals with the development of new technology and telecommunications. It was reformed from the Informatization Department on January 1 2011. The IT Department is responsible for equipping agencies and government institutions with computer technology and Internet access, the introduction of intellectual systems for city administration, the development of electronic services for citizens, communications infrastructure, digital television and broadband access. The department‘s priorities are recorded in the city‘s Information 2012-2016 program. The department is led by Moscow government minister - Artyem Yermolaev.