Website developer accuses Rostov Administration of stealing 6.5 million rubles

Website developer accuses Rostov Administration of stealing 6.5 million rubles
Screenshot from ar.rostov-gorod.ru

The Agency of Cybernetics and Social Systems, which won the first tender, claims that the second tender worth 2.5 million for the modernization of the City Administration website has been declared for the already performed services.

The website of the Rostov Administration has become the source of another corruption scandal. Developers, who won the competition for its upgrade, believe that the customer conspired with RnD Soft to appropriate 2.5 million rubles allocated for the work that has already been completed, Donnews.ru reported.

The corruption scandal with the website of the Rostov Administration, located at rostov-gorod.ru, began in April 2016. At that time, the City Administration presented the results of its ambitious upgrade. New design, single point of entry for both the portal of the City Administration and the local council, new features ‘Urbanization’ and ‘Active citizen’ — all the work was carried out by RnD Soft. The contract cost the state budget 4 million rubles.

In November 2016, the Rostov Administration once again announced the tender for the modernization of the city portal and relevant services, citing the need to "keep up with the times and provide a more convenient use of the services." The cost of the new contract was 2.5 million rubles.

This time, RnD Soft was once again among the participants. However, the tender was won by Agency Cybernetics and Social Systems (AKSS), which offered to do the work for the sum 4 times cheaper than the one declared by the customer — 612.5 thousand rubles instead of 2.5 million.

AKSS director general Kristina Vanyan said that after studying the terms of reference before filing the application and comparing it with the existing version of the website, the company noticed that all of those works had already been carried out, except for the installation of several administrative and design modules. After that, the contractor employees found the documentation to the previous contest, which had been won by RnD Soft. It turned out that RnD Soft received 4 million rubles from the state budget and were to carry out massive update of the company's website in 4 days.

On November 22, 2016, the Rostov Administration and AKSS signed the contract for the update of the website. Kristina Vanyan claims that for carrying out their work the company members received access to a kitchen-closet area of 4 sq. m. The contractor also insists they were not granted any technical equipment to start an effective work.

Vanyan added that, according to documentation, most of the work described in the terms of reference had already been made, so the AKSS experts only had to finish the job. However, the contractor then noted that the City Administration provided them not with a live version of the website presented in the summer of 2016, but with the old one, which existed until 2015.

Moreover, according to the terms of the contract, the works were to be completed before December 7, 2016. Documents were to be submitted before December 14 and the testing was to be finished by the same date.

After finding such major discrepancies, AKSS experts started to record all the differences between the documentation and the provided versions of the portal.

In addition, having retrieved the documents, the contractor discovered that the City Administration had close ties with RnD Soft. For example, Rostov administration did not own some of its projects in the legal sense — instead they belonged to RnD Soft. "This is a gross violation of information security on behalf of the administration itself, and it should be noted," Vanyan said.

The requirement set forward by the chief of Information Security Department at the Rostov Administration Alexey Popov to purchase an authorization gateway ESIA from RnD Soft was considered yet another violation. The terms of reference did not include the update of a gateway.

Moreover, RnD Soft experts retained full access to the website management, despite the fact that they had finished the work under the contract. AKSS called this fact "a flagrant violation of security, which made further modernization works according to customer's terms of reference impossible." Experts of the company drew an act of non-compliance of the project documentation for 2015 and the current version of the site on the server. In their opinion, the city administration attempted fraud, aiming to receive the money twice for the same amount of work.

The Administration refused to accept the document. Then, AKSS found that someone with remote access from third-party IP-addresses was replacing the versions of the website provided to them. Later it became clear that those IP-addresses belonged to RnD Soft.

On December 22, Rostov administration unilaterally terminated the contract with AKSS.

Meanwhile, according to Donnews.ru, lawyers of AKSS are preparing claims to the Arbitration Court against the Rostov Administration and statements to law enforcement authorities "about the crimes committed by the administration officials."

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