Camp for Rotenberg
Russian billionaire Arkady Rotenberg continues exploring new horizons. Stroygazmontazh company – which has made Rotenberg ‘the king of governmental contracts’ – is about to reconstruct Artek at the cost of 15 billion rubles.
It is hard to find a business or major project in Russia that has not attracted attention of Arkady Rotenberg yet – from the construction of bridges and gas pipelines to alcohol market and preparations for the Olympic Games. Recently the ubiquitous family has closely approached the railroad business... But one venture of Arkady Rotenberg went almost unnoticed – although it should bring him over 15 billion of budget rubles in the next 3 years.
Stroygazmontazh company – that fully belongs to Rotenberg and has recently become the absolute leader in winning governmental contracts – is about to reconstruct Artek International Children Center. The dream of all Soviet kids needs a major renovation indeed. In spring 2015, the government has approved a development program for Artek International Children Center Federal State Budgetary Institution for the period of 2015–2020. The total cost of the program was 5.4 billion rubles.
Artek International Children Center
Artek has rushed to implement the federal program. On June 30, 2015, Artek International Children Center Federal State Budgetary Institution has awarded, on a sole source basis, a contract for its design and capital renovation to Stroygazmontazh company. Leaping ahead, it is necessary to note that all further tenders for camp renovations have been won by the company belonging to Rotenberg on a sole source basis.
The cost of the contract was 917.7 million rubles. Everything was weird in that tender – from an unusual for Stroygazmontazh sphere of activity to surprisingly low price. For a company whose portfolio of governmental contracts was worth over 555 billion rubles as of February 2016, a tender for a sum less than billion rubles is nothing. On the same day, June 30, 2015, Stroygazmontazh has signed another contract to design and repair living quarters in Artek. The client was the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, while the cost of the contract was 2.28 billion rubles. Then magic tricks have started...
Document: Initial cost of the contract - 2.282.933.676 rubles
According to the contract signed with Stroygazmontazh, the completion date for all works was December 30, 2015; to make this unrealistic date not so ridiculous, the contract had been backdated even prior to the beginning of the tender. No miracle happened – Stroygazmontazh failed to construct anything in six months. And on September 16, 2016, the parties have signed an additional agreement changing virtually everything.
The cost of the contract, due to some unknown reasons, has skyrocketed to 13 billion rubles, while its completion date has been extended by 3 years – to December 31, 2020. The point is that a month after the approval of the federal development program for Artek, it had been amended – and the initial cost of 5.4 billion rubles has been increased to 17 billion rubles. According to Article 95 of the Federal Law “On the Contract System in the Sphere of Acquisitions of Goods, Works, and Services for State and Municipal Needs”, such drastic increases of the program cost are illegal – but the parties have ‘forgotten’ about this.
New contract cost and completion date - 13.069.995.506 rubles
Based on the above figures, 4 billion budget rubles are about to remain ‘unused’ by Arkady Rotenberg. Could this be possible? Of course, not. It is now time to go back to the contract for the amount of 917.7 million rubles signed between Artek International Children Center Federal State Budgetary Institution and Stroygazmontazh. It was terminated on December 23, 2015 by mutual agreement of the parties due to a “considerable change of circumstances”. These ‘circumstances’ were related to the second tender carried out by Artek International Children Center; a contract has been signed based on this tender as early as on December 24, 2015. The scope of works in the second tender was the same, and the contractor was the same – Stroygazmontazh – but the cost of the contract has increased considerably and reached 2.27 billion rubles.
And the final chord in that show was truly breathtaking. In theory, Stroygazmontazh may not perform any works at all – no one would ever know this. All information pertaining to the reconstruction of Artek International Children Center has been classified. This was the answer to an inquiry submitted by Ekaterina Petrova, member of the Civic Chamber of Ekaterinburg. To protect people from a temptation to uncover the dark secret, the ‘classified’ children camp is guarded by the National Guard of Russia.
With regards to the unused 1.8 billion rubles still remaining in the federal program budget, there is no doubt that by 2020, Rotenberg would be able to lay hands on much larger amounts – especially taking that the Ministry of Defense has decided to built a ‘military’ Artek.
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