Community Activist Uses DOZORRO to Expose Misuse of Budget Funds

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Friday, March 5, 2021
Olha Nos (left) together with Ivan Lakhtionov and Yulia Gryga at the DOZORRO FEST 2018

In February 2018, Olha Nos, a civic activist in the town of Ukrayinka and member of the DOZORRO watchdog network, was monitoring municipal procurements when she discovered an unusual contract worth nearly UAH 200,000, ($7,500) for restroom renovations at the Ukrayinka city hall. The contract called for LLC VLAN-Service to remodel and decorate the building’s restrooms. However, when Olha visited the restrooms, she determined that the decorative plasterwork only existed in the contract. She decided to ask the local prosecutor’s office to further investigate the issue.

After reviewing the facts and documents, the local prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case and turned to an expert who determined that the value of the work performed was approximately half what the city had paid. The contractor was forced to return UAH 84,000 ($3,200) to the municipality.

The Ukrayinka case is just one of thousands of examples of the DOZORRO platform’s effectiveness as an instrument for exposing suspicious procurement. 

Launched in 2016 with the help of USAID, the DOZORRO network traces and exposes attempts by government agencies to avoid open bidding, set discriminatory tender requirements, and select winners unfairly or corruptly. The goal of these violations is always the same: to contract a preferred supplier and overpay for goods or services in order to receive ‘kickbacks.’

Between October 2017 and February 2021, the DOZORRO watchdog community analyzed more than 32,000 high-risk tenders on the ProZorro public procurement online platform, sent more than 27,400 requests to the procuring entities and oversight authorities, such as the Anti-Monopoly Committee , requesting clarifications. This led to adjustments in tender procedures and/or the removal of requirements that tainted fair competition in more than 4,500 tenders, valued in excess of $600 million.

Last updated: May 12, 2021

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