Ministry of Culture fires 56 employees after violations detected by Audit Chamber
The Directorate for Construction and Renovation paid out $ 800,000 for outstanding work.
The Audit Chamber has identified multiple violations of federal laws in the implementation of the program of the Ministry of Culture for the preservation of cultural and historical heritage, assessing the damage and risks of damage to almost 57 million rubles ($ 800,000). After that, the Ministry of Culture decided to change the management staff of the Directorate for Construction and Reconstruction and fired 56 employees, including the manager and chief accountant, RBC reports.
“Of the Directorate’s 132 employees, who worked there in 2018, 56 were fired,” the Ministry explained.
According to the press service of the Audit Chamber, after the audit, the Ministry of Culture conducted its own monitoring and dismissed the management team of two directorates at once – the Moscow and North-West.
During the audit, the Chamber found out that the Ministry’s Directorate paid 51.4 million rubles for outstanding work, and also hired low-level designers, which did not complete 13 of 14 investment projects in due time for 2017-2018. At the beginning of 2019, 12 projects the completion of which has expired, have not been implemented.
According to the Audit Chamber, the Ministry’s requirements for contractors during tendering were not sufficient. As a result, six of the 11 facilities under construction need to be refined and state examinations have to be recommissioned because the errors and shortcomings in the calculations did not allow to continue the work.
“For example, during the renovation of three facilities – the Museum Complex in Ryazan, the Museum of Cosmonautics in Kaluga and the Art Studios of the Bolshoi Theater – the estimated construction cost increased by 45% or 1.6 billion rubles ($ 25 million). Moreover, in the case of the Bolshoi Theater, the cost has increased by more than 90%, by almost 900 million rubles ($ 14 million),” said auditor Mikhail Men.
According to the Audit Chamber, the Ministry of Culture formally supervised the use of budget funds only formally.
“The Ministry of Culture will ensure the proper implementation of all the requirements of the Audit Chamber and will take special control over the implementation by the subordinated institution. Now all the project documentation is undergoing double control on meeting the schedule of work and cost estimates,” deputy minister of culture Sergey Obryvalin said.
For each of the violations, the Audit Chamber prepared an appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The Prosecutor General's Office had earlier accused the Moscow region’s ex-official of exceeding official authority, taking a bribe on an especially large scale, and forgery, and demanded to seize assets worth of 9 billion rubles ($135 million) from him.