Thursday, 20 September 2012
PM Demands Explanations
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: Mr. Gabrielyan, you were assigned to submit explanations regarding the deficiencies discovered in the procurement field.
RA Minister of Finance Vache Gabrielyan: Mr. Prime Minister, as the Minister regulating the procurement field, I can present that most of the problems and shortcoming are not due to the normative field or regulations, where we also have problems, and we will do our best to resolve them quickly, but the problem here is connected with the administrative norms. The system introduced there has its own negative effects. We can write any regulations, which, however, then will be dispensed.
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: What do you suggest?
RA Minister of Finance Vache Gabrielyan: Mr. Prime Minister, I suggest to change the managing staff members of Procurement Assistance Center, who are connected with those activities and shortcomings.
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: Which officials exactly are you referring to?
RA Minister of Finance Vache Gabrielyan: The management; the heads, deputies, heads of departments, who have any connection with it.
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: Mr. Gabrielyan, present the petition today, and Mr. Sargsyan will prepare the orders immediately dismissing the listed officials.
RA Minister of Finance Vache Gabrielyan: Mr. Prime Minister, we also have an action plan, which is expected to transform the procurement accounting function proposing obligations for the country by the Ministry of Finance with the procurement monitoring implementation function, which will allow revealing a number of potential provisions and the possibility to intervene in case of any problems, organize so that each customer is able to publish announcements regarding their purchases in the procurement bulletin, obtain agreement with the developer of the e-procurement system and resolve the current problems in the system, which will enable us to implement procurement with Armex Electronic System, as well as carry out procurement monitoring implemented by the public organizations, with the Public Services Regulatory Commission, as it is their area of jurisdiction.
Meanwhile we have been implementing research in a number of areas, and there is available information, on which we can ask for your initial assignment.
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: What specific areas is that about?
RA Minister of Finance Vache Gabrielyan: For example, the Commission on Economic Competition has also conducted a study in connection with the purchase of medications in the health sector. Last year we had a case of a medication order worth about 2.5 billion, and there was a false description, which, if left as it was, would allow one company to win the competition. We took measures and the competition was re-announced, and as a result the total amount decreased by about half a billion.
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: In other words, we saved half a billion in only one competition.
RA Minister of Finance Vache Gabrielyan: Yes, if we hadn’t intervened, it would have cost 2.5 billion.
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: To all the ministers, take into account that from now on you will bear personal responsibility for the organization of correct procurement. It is unacceptable to publish an invalid competition application, resulting from the outset in knowing who would win and, in this particular case, the possibility to lose 500 million AMD. From now on the ministers will bear personal responsibility, because the whole regulation has defocused the application submission process and the decision-making.
Mr. Tadevosyan, what is the situation regarding the public library?
RA Minister of Urban Development Samvel Tadevosyan: Mr. Prime Minister, the studies have already been completed, and currently we are performing summarizing of the whole volume. I can now present the preliminary results.
The public library was founded in 1937, in 2005 a draft-estimate was drawn up for the reconstruction works. The reconstruction began in 2008 end was completed in December 2010, spending about 690 million AMD. Moreover, the project assignment suggested constructive measures in raising the level of seismic protective system, which have not been implemented. Seismic protection has not been given priority when making the project, and internal and external water penetration grounds have not been taken into account. The main work was done in a wrong order; the preference was given to the interior work. The priority issues were also violated during the reconstruction works, dismantling heating and air conditioning and performing interior works. The money provided for air conditioning was used for other matters, and the heating system has not been exploited till this day. I think it is necessary to draw your attention to the fact that part of the work done is of law quality, and a wrong fire fighting system was selected, ignoring the profile direction of the public library; CO2 instead of water. As a result, the majority of the work done in 2008-2011 should be re-performed, and we must carry out building strengthening works.
RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan: This is a disgrace. This is one of the most important objects, which is in the center of the public attention. The Government allocated 700 million AMD from the state budget, and the works were not finished until now, and it turns out that the state has to allocate additional money. I assign the head of the PM’s Supervision Service, in cooperation with the Urban Development Inspection, to perform an investigation and submit all the materials to our law enforcement agencies, not only in this case, but in all the construction projects implemented with the money allocated from the state budget. If there are violations of this kind in the case of such important object, we can imagine what we will discover in the rest of the projects. Immediately begin the works and submit these specific materials to law enforcement agencies.