On July 12th, the honorary chairman of the Tender Chamber of Ukraine [TPU] and one of PoR's leading lights, Raisa Bohatyreva, resigned from her post. On the same day President Yushchenko issued an ukaz on increasing the effectiveness of state procurement of goods and services which the TPU is supposed to oversee.
The TPU's internet site posted a statement alleging that first vice-premier Mykola Azarov's attempt to take away overight of state purchasing etc. from the chamber was equivalent to crime. Allegedly, Bohatyreva threatened Azarov: "The parliamentary coalition appointed you in government, and it can sack you". Her resignation then appeared on the Region's site.
In it she states that she had become the subject of intrigues, that press reports were aimed at creating political conflicts within the PoR, but that questions of public procurement should be tackled in a transparent manner, through the tenders.
Even the presidential secretarial was rather taken aback. A spokesman said that her going would be difficult to come to terms with, and and would cause complications with fulfillment of the president's TPU ukaz.
Now, perhaps in an attempt to repair the damage, a posting has appeared on the official PoR website praising her work - she has set a record for the number of personal meetings conducted with ordinary citizens during the 3rd session of the 5th convocation of the VR - 26 persons in all [!?]
Bohatyreva herself has undergone an astonishing change of appearance and image for the better since last year, and will be a very important figure in PoR's election campaign.
The TPU is a little-known institution set up in 2005, to "ensure fuller transparency and openness in the realization of state purchases of goods and services." It is supposed to oversee the spending of over 100 billion hryven [about $20Bn], belonging to the state railroad, "Naftogaz", state highways of Ukraine, state coal company Ukraine", "Ukrtransnafta", "Ukrtransgaz" and so on. These enterprises, according to existing laws, must buy goods on the basis of tenders.
An example of the work the TPU do, from the Ukrainian News website:
The Ukrainian Tender Chamber says that the Kyiv city state administration violated the procedure for government purchases in the amount of UAH 960.3 million in April - December 2006 and January - June 2007. There are problems over faked tenders, tenders at overstated prices, monopoly collusions of participants, some or other tender victory guarantees for certain firms. This is all being done for the sake of kick-backs, bribe-taking, channeling taxpayers' money to shadow businesses,"