Russia to Digitalize State Secured Tenders

Rubric: Russia, Industry

A new electronic tender system for military procurements containing state secrets is being designed in Russia. The infrastructure for digitalizing of cooperation within the state defense order will appear by January 1, 2019. The system will include an online catalog reflecting the state customers’ needs, said the representatives of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and the Ministry of Finance at the conference named "State Defense Order. Procurements: Regulations, Procedures, Control, Pricing" held in St. Petersburg on March 16.

"Now we have a large project ahead, digitalizing of the tenders constituting state secrets. Apart of FAS, it is attended by FSB and Federal Service for Technical & Export Control. By the year end, we plan to find all required technical solutions and issue regulatory documents. As we said many times, the electronic tender systems have very serious security-related requirements", Maksim Ovchinnikov, director of the antimonopoly agency told journalists.

Speakers of the conference

According to him, the first stage implied establishment of the Automatic State Defense Order Tender System (ASDOTS) jointly designed by Sberbank and Rostec. There are tenders not related to state secrets, but which information is not advisable for public access for different reasons. The platform has been operating since December 2017, when the state-led corporations issued directives amending procurement procedures, and has already saved about 500 mln rubles for budget, the official said.

He emphasized that one of the key advantages of closed auctions was the chance to conceal relationships with foreign contractors, which helps to keep them as partners.
"Soon we’ll send the Government a document that regulates a special accreditation procedure. The point is to prevent the access into the closed circuit of entities intending to download data. Indeed, there were some cases when potential tenders were not admitted to the system", Ovchinnikov said.
Besides, the system will automatically track companies that apply for state tenders, but do not make price-cutting offer prices, attending just to imitate competition. This will help to identify cartels easily and act appropriately. Further, private companies could develop own platforms to compete with ASDOTS, in case they ensure secured infrastructure, Ovchinnikov added.

According to the director of the Department for Budgetary Policy in Contracting System at the Ministry of Finance, Tatiana Demidova, the project includes the catalog of products demanded by customers.
"Catalog of products, works and services is a tool helping to standardize names of procured items, their technical properties. Basically, it is a description of the customer’s needs, which once integrated will enable e-shop tools", said the financial ministry’s spokeswoman.
Today, the catalog is already operated. Among the items posted in the system are oil products, some medical devices and optics, and soon there will be software and office appliances. The section for luxury items is provided as well.

The ASDOTS electronic platform is based on the Sberbank AST automatic tender system developed jointly with Rostec and its affiliate, United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation. According to the founders, ASDOTS will help to track financial flows and control reasonableness of purchase prices for raw materials. The electronic platform was officially launched on February 7, 2017.