In 2017, Moscow's budget revenues for the first time exceeded 2 trillion rubles, then for three years they confidently approached the 2.5 trillion rubles mark, this year even the coronavirus did not make a serious drawdown. By next year, despite the crisis, according to the Budget Law for the planned 2019-2021, the capital's revenues should increase to 2.6 trillion rubles, which is 2.5 times higher than the national average.
“We have one place where everyone is brought into human form - it would be better to go slower: Moscow is called. 60% of all expenses of all subjects of the federation are expenses of Moscow. And the remaining 40% are spread over the rest of the country”, - said Natalya Zuberaevich, a regional expert, professor at Moscow State University, in one of her last interviews.
Why is there no end to epics about shifting tiles, curbs, asphalt, cleaning snow in a snowless winter, tons of unnecessary reagents in yards, “idle” walks of harvesting equipment?
Autumn foliage threatening the safety of citizens
Resident Tatiana T. from Vostochny Biryulyov witnessed a “mega-effective” cleaning of the yard from fallen leaves five days ago. “The method of blowing them into one pile just finished [approx. ed. the blowers use gasoline]. The roar of this blower is heard early in the morning. Is it really impossible to clean up with a rake? There is enough noise in the city, why aggravate the situation from 8.00 in the morning? " As the woman notes, a team of as many as 6 people has been thrown into these "strategic works" in the same yard: one blows it off, five stand and wait for the piles to be put into a sack. The salary is coming...
Last year, in his journalistic investigation, Ivan Golunov, having analyzed the state purchases of the State Budgetary Institution Zhilishchnika, counted 850 million rubles spent by Moscow only on removing fallen leaves from lawns.
Officials are of the opinion that autumn foliage poses a threat to the safety of townspeople: it clogs gutters, rises with the wind and scatters, in bad weather you can slip on it. At the same time, in most administrations, ordering officials try to use euphemisms in the procurement documentation - for example, "vegetable waste", "random garbage" that is formed only in the autumn period.
According to the terms of the contracts, the collected foliage in black plastic bags is taken to landfills. However, in most cases, it is impossible to understand from the documentation which polygon the leaves will go to.
Reversal overpass of Rublevskoe highway
A high-profile example of Moscow landscaping was discovered last October by Moscow lawyer Ivan Yozhikov.
1.03 billion rubles of budgetary funds was spent by PJSC Mostotrest on the order of the Moscow Construction Department for the construction of a long-existing turning overpass on Rublevskoe highway. If you believe the information from the official portal of the State Procurement, the state contract is now in the execution stage, works were accepted for 53,597,214.74 rubles, and already paid for 1,290,695,662.57 rubles. The published documentation contains payment orders for which funds were transferred. But there is not a single act indicated as the basis for payments.
“But there is a certificate on the cost of work performed for May and June. I would call them Inquiries on the cost of embezzlement of budgetary funds. From the certificate for May, it follows that in the first 10 days of May Mostotrest completed work for 1.03 BILLION RUBLES. Construction and installation work at a cost of 100 million rubles per day. That is, he dismantled the temporary overpass and built a new one. IN TEN DAYS! Despite the fact that under the contract, these works should last more than two years! Construction work on the overpass was not carried out either in May or in June. Modern technologies allow us to examine the "temporary" and "new" overpass in detail on the official resource of the Moscow Government "Electronic Atlas of Moscow" - they do not differ in anything at all", - the lawyer comments.
It is not surprising, because the flyover had already been built by this moment, its opening was even announced on the official portal of the Mayor of Moscow.
The construction department of the capital was unable to explain clearly where the order for the construction of an overpass came from instead of the tunnel reconstruction planned for the initial project, and most importantly - how did the tender for the construction of the already built facility come about?
The director of the Department of Road and Bridge Construction (UGMS) subordinate to the Department of Construction, Vasily Desyatkov could only say that the flyover on Rublevka would not be built, but "beautified". And the deputy head of the construction department Pyotr Aksenov put forward his own version: the overpass is temporary, it will be dismantled and a new one will be built.
Curbs, tiles, asphalt. Shelf life - one season
The residents of the capital have dubbed the Moscow religion the annual interaction of the capital's authorities with road surfaces. "Changing the asphalt and curbstone in Moscow is a ritual sacred act, thanks to which the source of Moscow's well-being does not dry up," users in social networks note. The passion for rearranging tiles and curbs continues, even in this challenging period as the capital struggles to cope with COVID-19.
“For more than a month now, work has been underway in Chertanovo to replace curbs and road surfaces. It’s not a bad thing if they didn’t change something new for a new one and didn’t create permanent commotion. Almost every day I see posts about piles of asphalt and tiles. We need to stop burying money in the ground. I don’t see yet what added value these new curbs create instead of quite bearable ones”, - says Roman Yuneman from Chertanovo.
Ivan S., a resident of the capital, talks about replacing "winter" borders with "summer" ones:
"There were asphalt and curb stones in our yard. We haven't touched anyone, so no, let's change them! It was a good sidewalk. Clean and smooth. But we need to catch up with the machinery, workers, break everything down and put another asphalt and curbs! Well [why]? And it would be okay to put new ones efficiently and smoothly. But no! About 20% of all freshly laid stones have already been chipped off. The poor-quality composition of the stone itself is visible. In the fall-winter, water will flow into the gap, freeze and everything will swell and burst. After winter, the curb will fall off. Next year it will be transferred again. The quality of the work is also depressing. Not rollers are used, but small mechanical vibratory rammers that cannot sufficiently compact the asphalt. Maybe they lay asphalt in warm and dry weather? No, this weather was on the weekend. And on weekdays there was a shower. Perfect for asphalt paving. Well, we started. Straight into the water stream! We'll block the driveway to the house with a dump truck, even for an ambulance. And for this we pay our taxes? Why in other countries everything is done once and for a long time?"
"The Housing and Utilities Department moved the asphalt, and the next day Mosgaz came in - opened up new asphalt and re-laid pipes, and then lay new asphalt again. Double pay for one job in one place. Why do overlays occur? It would seem that all city services and departments in our country are vertically integrated, subordinate to a single center - the Moscow City Hall, and should be easily and consistently managed. But, firstly, our managers, for the most part, in my opinion, are appointees according to the clan and the principle of loyalty - and this is automatically translated into Russian as a lack of competence. Unfortunately, the corruption model of personnel selection is a common phenomenon in our country. Most of the execution of city budgets in our country, in my opinion, is corrupt. And they are caught by the hand more than once, but the security and judicial structures are tied up and take measures only against petty corrupt officials, and those who have agreed everything with everyone will never be tied up'', - says Denis Shenderovich, deputy of the Kuntsevo municipal district.
Second, there are no normally built horizontal ties between departments. Some departments do not know anything about the work of others. And this is the scourge of the system, again - org. a gap, a mistake of the administrative order, the deputy adds.
"Emergency and planned work on the replacement of engineering networks according to the technology is always laid either under the sidewalk or under the road surface. Utility network owners and municipal services often cannot agree on these measures, because work on the networks is rarely performed on a planned basis. Due to the lack of funds in the tariff for planned overhaul of engineering networks, water supply and heat supply, they are carried out only in an emergency. Utilities of the city and management companies in the planning of work start from the statements of the residents of the capital repair program or the instructions of the traffic police and other supervisory authorities. Another reason for the re-laying of asphalt may be the order of the supervisory authorities to make patching, despite the fact that this area is already in the overhaul program, if the period between works is more than one month", - explains Alexander Gurylyov, an expert in the housing and communal services industry.
Tons of reagents at your feet
Another special Moscow ritual is the generous sprinkling of reagents on pedestrian zones, and then no less diligent cleansing of them.
“Moscow has bought 350 thousand tons of reagents per year, which means that these 350 thousand tons must be poured in order to buy 350 thousand tons again next season. You ask the worker - why are you doing this rubbish on dry asphalt? You photograph this case. And he answers - I am your city and I saw your photos in the coffin. You carry out educational work with the janitor. Got it? All! - answers. Tomorrow you meet with the same janitor - he pours the same reagent. Everything was fine when we drove out the manager and collected our own HOA. For the entire courtyard of a seven-entrance building with 400 apartments, they bought 100 kg of reagents. They were enough for the whole winter. But the prosecutor's office came - and why are you cleaning your own yard? Is this how you spend the tenants' money? They planted a management system under the control of officials, now they allocate 500 kg for our house for the winter, they pour 100, 400 are dumped on the lawn. In the first spring, the lawn died. For the surviving lawns in Moscow - a test of the 2nd level, so to speak. Why mow every two weeks if during this time the grass does not have time to grow? The line must be spent - they answer. A combination of stupidity and embezzlement, and we, the residents, have to pay for all this”, - says a resident of the Khoroshevo-Mnevniki district to Novye Izvestia.
“In the spring, the Zhilishnika tractor is sent to my yard to wash off the reagents. He rides around the houses all day and night. With that amount of water, which is not even enough to nail down the dust. The tractor has a task - you don't need to water anything, just waste gasoline, no one even remembers about environmental pollution. I turn to Zhilischnik, I ask the council: “Can I do something about this? At least pour water on the lawn and stop the tractor. The complaint is being considered - they bring in a second tractor with full tanks, it is refueled - I know for sure - from the nearest dispenser without meters, and this first tractor, as it drove around the houses, continues to drive. One in the field is not a soldier, but 200 such tractors in Moscow - and already a very good gasoline plant turns out”, - continues a resident of the Khoroshevo-Mnevniki district.
Removing invisible snow
In winter, the scheme, as on the templates, migrates to snow removal. The machine walks on snow-free routes with the bucket raised. The machine is equipped with the GLONASS system, according to KPI.
Often, irrational spending of budgetary funds is also a gap in the system of control over the execution of government contracts, says Anna Isaicheva , a specialist in the field of public procurement.
When accepting work, customers must check the quality of the delivered goods / work performed / services provided, but the contractor - for example, a one-day company specially created under the contract no longer gets in touch, and the customer has no choice but to sue him, and simultaneously declare a purchase for similar works.
A huge number of questions every year are caused by purchases for cleaning the territory. It should be? Winter period. There is snow - the customer sends the contractor applications for cleaning, no snow - no applications, no payment. This is ideal. In practice, we see a completely different picture: either the snow is not removed at all, or it is removed even when there is none. In the terms of reference for contracts, customers often do not prescribe variability, the dependence of work on the weather. Instead, there is an iron, inflexible schedule for cleaning the territory, and in the end we get ridiculous spectacles with the removal of invisible snow, because the contractor's income depends only on the mileage, cubic meters, and motor hours.
There are situations when, for example, snow falls in several districts, but the whole city is supposed to clean up, and if the equipment does not come out to its site, then the service company will be fined. Or, on the contrary, drivers accumulate the same operating hours in order to drain the fuel and sell, while providing a report on how much they have traveled and worked in order to explain the high consumption and inflated costs, says Sergey Sknarin, Executive Director of MonitoringAvto.
Such stories happen every year; at the end of 2019, videos shot in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Vladimir region, where snowblowers were rolling around the city with raised brushes, were circulating on the network, Isaycheva adds.
The groundwork for corruption is also extensive here. For example, a customer sends an application to a contractor, realizing that snow removal is not really required, the contractor idle along the route and provides the customer with a report on the work done - a photo of a clean area. Sweepers today are also equipped with GPS beacons. The contractor also attaches tracking data to the report of the vehicle's movement - and if in the future law enforcement officers, for example, have questions about whether the cleaning was carried out, he will secure himself with such a document.
Criteria for the quality of execution of government contracts are often linked to a work schedule that is unable to adapt to the changing meteorological situation. The execution of contracts is based on a time frame, either a calendar period or a road section. Since the funds come from budgets, where the rules of budget legislation prescribe their return in the event of balances at the end of the financial year, and at the same time payments to contractors cannot be received for work that has not yet been completed, often a violent imitation of activities is the only way out for a stable obtaining funding. Otherwise, liability is envisaged for non-fulfillment of government contracts and for violation of budgetary legislation, comments the lawyer for environmental law, candidate of economic sciences Yevgeny Zharov.
Why don't Moscow lawns survive the winter?
The general director of a construction company, a regular supplier under government contracts, tells about the lawn care technique Yevgeny Stepanov.
- Everywhere the lawn is made higher than curbs and paths, and the gaps between the side stones are not insulated. As a result, all water with mud falls on public roads or pathways in parks and yards. Further, utilities remove this dirt back onto the lawn. As a result - spoiled lawns and mud on the streets of the city. Considering that we stubbornly refuse to make a competent drainage system, water from lawns destroys the lawn itself, asphalt pavement or paving stones on the sidewalks. Plus, the water freezes during transitional temperature periods (about zero degrees), so the city uses a reagent. The ecosystem suffers from the reagent, which is also swept onto the lawns or which enters the drainage system (and further along the system to the nearest water bodies). In a year, or even every year, we have: it is necessary not only to re-sow the lawn, but also to change the surface of roads, driveways, sidewalks, shoes.
Watermills for coronavirus
In the coronavirus era, funds are completely ineffectively spent on disinfecting streets, says Nikolai Dubinin, a sanitary doctor, disinfectologist.
- Why are the streets treated with watering machines? It is clear that it is easiest for the city authorities to bring municipal equipment to demonstration street performances. For 3 months, the townspeople were told about the fourth and fifth stages of disinfection: spectacular shots with KAMAZ vehicles cutting through the sky. Of course, this all has nothing to do with measures to combat the virus.
Everything would be fine, but it is for these “measures” that huge budgets, forces, funds have been allocated, and there is no money to fight the real ways of transmission of the virus. Workplaces in teams, hostels, educational institutions, courier services. There is not even enough for Rospotrebnadzor, whose employees must be provided with sufficient funds and personnel for the most efficient work.
What should we do with the improvement?
When asked whether it is necessary to spend 2.5 trillion on the improvement of Moscow, any resident of the capital will give a negative answer, observing the annual reshaping of curbs, unnecessary mountains of reagent, lowering the level of lawns, planting plastic cherry trees and so on, says the deputy of the Izmailovo municipal district Nadezhda Zagordan.
- Why is all this useless and often wrecking work done and by whom is it authorized? I see several reasons for this. Firstly, local self-government has been killed in Moscow, and the most accessible deputies for residents - municipal deputies, can affect only 5 percent of Moscow's budget. The rest of the budget is allocated by the prefectures and various departments of Moscow. And this means that every official will invent and spend a budget on the most primitive work, such as re-laying tiles, which is easiest for him to carry out through pocket firms, and not be engaged, for example, in restoring storm sewers.
Secondly, all the controlling structures in Moscow have degraded and, in fact, they do not exist in Moscow. I will cite as an example the improvement of 2019 in the Eastern Administrative District, when, by an amazing coincidence, practically all contracts were won by SB IU-1 LLC, which instead of certified factory playgrounds (MAF) supplied something handicraft and potentially dangerous - the equipment did not undergo any examinations. Quietly, without commission acceptance, the customer Zhilischnik Izmailovo with the council accepted the work and transferred the money as for the factory equipment. Appeals to the prosecutor's office, OATI, Glavkontrol, the prefecture, the mayor's office, the presidential administration, UEBiPK did not give any results - everything returned to the Izmailovo council, which sent replies. As a result, the residents themselves raised money and ordered an independent examination of the IAF, which confirmed that the equipment did not comply with GOST standards, however, none of the state bodies reacted to the dispatch of expert opinions on non-compliance with GOST standards. The equipment continues to stand. This August our first child was already seriously injured. The third reason is the actual lack of FAS control over the public procurement procedure. The customer deliberately places technical specifications either with absurd requirements (for example, the purchase of brooms with a length and width of 0 cm) or with mutually conflicting requirements for the purchase, or with an indication of the place of delivery of the goods "Moscow" without attaching project documentation. All this, in my opinion, is done with a corrupt intent: if suddenly the tender is won by a contractor who is not expected by an official distributing the budget, no work will be accepted from him and money should not be transferred. FAS does not react to all these violations”, - the deputy says.
"The main problem is that in the current system of government, the city budget of Moscow, and other cities too, is a source of income for structures or people closely connected with the leadership of this city. We have already seen a considerable number of investigations about how certain companies, enterprises close to the city administration, win multibillion-dollar contracts for the improvement of the city. From this opera, all the sad stories about the annual replacement of tiles, asphalt, curbs in the same places", - believes Konstantin Yankauskas, deputy of the Zyuzino municipal district.
The second reason for "idle work" is the lack of real powers of the public, residents, deputies to control the volume and quality of orders being executed. 280 billion rubles this year has been allocated for the improvement of Moscow, and only 10 billion of them are legally under the control of local deputies, this barely scratches up to 4% of all funds! According to 39 Law of Moscow, the deputies agree on an address list of works on the improvement of courtyard areas: playgrounds, purchase of seeds, arrangement of lawns, replacement of asphalt pavement and the like. For each type of work, a deputy is assigned, from whom they expect a signature in the deed of transfer. In fact, local deputies have no other powers. Other programs, according to which tranches are going, are not coordinated with local deputies.
The customer for 70-90% of the improvement works is "Zhilischnik", not people, and these works are not under control. Only courtyards. But even on this scanty front, and even then - the money is paid by the customers to the performers, regardless of whether the deputy put his signature on acceptance or not...
The service life of the asphalt pavement according to the tender documentation is 5 years, so it will be changed every five years, although technologies have long existed and are practiced all over the world that allow to exclude the rupture of the soil under the pavement, this extends the life of the asphalt for decades.
The problem can be solved systematically, I repeat, only by taking the work under the control of the public, local deputies, the city council, says Jankauskas. In several regions of Russia, the head is obliged to coordinate the candidacies of his prime ministers and deputy prime ministers with the Legislative Assembly. The federal law gives such an option to the Moscow government, the Moscow City Duma could approve all of Sobyanin's deputies, but Moscow did not include this procedure in its charter.
Local councils, city dumas should change in the staffing - the more politicians who do not depend on the city administrations, the more effective they will be to control expenses.
In addition to the public, we have many law enforcement, control, and supervisory agencies. The capital's mayor's office should be afraid of investigations by the Main Control Directorate, the Antimonopoly Committee, in fact - there is a feeling that up to pinpoint instructions from above, these dependent structures are completely paralyzed, just like the police, the Investigative Committee, and the prosecutor's office.
Whatever other reasons for the voiced problems we are looking for, the situation can be systematically corrected only by fundamental transformations. Every year I see only an increasing number of people in Moscow who are interested in their yards, their territories. Every year a huge number of residents come to the meetings to agree on the list of works. But until now, their only lever is the coordination of only the most microscopic types of work of the "sandbox" level, the deputy sums up.