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The chamber contracts with foreign consultants threaten the security
Material posted: Publication date: 30-01-2018
The audit chamber criticized the use of officials of external consultants: this creates a risk of corruption, double-spending budget, the influence of private companies on policies and information leakage. And participation of foreign consultants in the development of programs and policies and is contrary to the national interests, said on Monday the auditor of the accounts chamber Maxim rohmistrov (quote from the website of the accounting chamber). Auditors, in particular, did not like that the energy was attracted to PwC for the preparation of the "different concepts".

The state quite often hires foreign experts. To explore the international experience to develop a sophisticated program or concept, says consultant one of the firms "big four". The same energy was attracted to KPMG when creating an industry portal to support innovative development of FEC. Ministry at the end of 2017 signed a contract for 28 million RUB from McKinsey & Company to prepare proposals on the establishment of the Kurile island territories of priority development. And the Ministry of agriculture with KPMG 20.8 mln. to study consumer preferences in the markets of the Middle East, North Africa and East Asia.

"Why hire expensive employees under one project, if you can give it to professionals," explains a Federal official. The choice between scientific institutions under ministries and consultants of large foreign companies, which will provide a team of experts with experience and knowledge of practice around the world, says the consultant another auditing company. Fuel and Energy the participation of international experts in regulatory activities is the international practice, says head of international tax practice for the petroleum sector EY Alexey Kondrashov. EY experts working in this field in different countries, such as Mexico, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Africa, the North sea, so Russia is no exception, he says.

By law, a procurement participant can be any company, in addition to offshore, the representative of the Ministry of energy. In 2015, the Ministry has indeed entered into several contracts with companies, including with foreign partners, but the purchases were carried out on the competition, no violations had been committed, he said. And the contracts have been concluded for preparation of informative analytical materials and not for the development of legislative and strategic documents.

Turning to international consultants, the government receives a quality product, passed through the representative Chairman and managing partner of KPMG in Russia Oleg Goshchansky. On average, approximately 20-30% of consulting projects for international companies in the world have on the public sector, he says. If there is a quality examination, why not to use it, surprised EY managing partner for Russia Alexander Ivlev.
The chamber proposes not to deprive officials of the opportunity to hire consultants, but to create a clear list of questions that you can access them. Then they will be more likely to involve informal, the consultant fears a major company. It often happens now, says the partner of one of the big four. But the conditions in the contract in respect of confidentiality significantly stiffer than private clients, he continues, the state is more profitable to retain the ability to control the process.

The substitution of professionals

This is not the first attempt to remove foreign consultants from working. In 2014, the big four are faced with the claims of the FSB to how auditors store information: servers for data storage, according to the service must be in Russia, and remote access of foreign branches and offices to the information of Russian troops should be restricted.

The state is already engaged in import substitution, phasing out contracts with foreigners, for example, in the IT sector. From January 2016, banned the free import procurement of software by government agencies. Officials should give priority to domestic software included in a special register. The state Agency can purchase imported software only after confirming that the registry does not offer him the Russian equivalent or that does not have the desired functionality. It should be described in a separate justification – impossibility of procurement. And in the summer of 2016, the first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov instructed to extend the restriction on state-owned companies: special Directive he was obliged to introduce the same procedure in the provisions on procurement.

The authorities tried to limit the ability of officials to apply to consultants. In 2016, President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to prohibit civil servants to buy work and services directly related to their functions, reminiscent of the auditors. But the number of such purchases was not reduced, the chamber has found: since 1500, there were more than 8.6 billion rubles.
The real problem is not the procurement of external consultants, and the inability to attract good staff, the absence in the public administration system an effective contract, according to the rector of Academy of labor and social relations Alexander Safonov: the salary of officials is distributed across levels and to many it is unattractive.

Representatives of PwC, BCG, and McKinsey & Company declined to comment. The representative of the Ministry of agriculture did not respond to a request.


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