ANDREY TSYGANOV: COOPERATION WITH REGIONAL AUTHORITIES IS A PRIORITY FOR FAS
Deputy Head of FAS signed an Agreement on Cooperation with the Government of the Pskov region
On 6 July 2018, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov had a working meeting with Acting Governor of the Pskov region, Mikhail Vedernikov, on pursuing the National Competition Development Plan and the Orders issued by the President of Russia upon the State Council for developing competition. The parties signed an Agreement on Cooperation between FAS and the Government of the Pskov region.
Andrey Tsyganov pointed out that at the meeting of the State Council of the Russian Federation and in the Order1 of the President of the Russian Federation paid special attention to the challenges and obstacles to developing competition in Russian economy. Among them, the speaker mentioned: trends towards state monopolism, restrictions of competition by actions and decisions of the authorities and self-government bodies, the so-called regional protectionism, tariff discrimination and cartelization of the economy.
Andrey Tsyganov reported that in FAS practice monitoring observance of the competition rules by economic entities as well as the authorities, “roughly one third of all antimonopoly violations are committed by the authorities”.
“It’s not very few or dozens, it’s several thousand violations that FAS exposes and endeavors to suppress annually”, explained Deputy Head of FAS.
Talking about tariffs, the speaker said: “FAS revealed a colossal, absolutely unjustified tariff discrimination, incidents when in neighbouring regions of the Russian Federation tariffs for water, heating, electricity differs by orders rather than percents. Such a disproportion leads to violating the principle of the unity of economic space formalized in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, when in one region conditions for doing business, related to input price, differ so dramatically that economic entities are in unequal conditions in terms of competition”.
The speaker also discussed bid-rigging in procurement of medicines. For several years these violations are on the second place in the total number of antimonopoly violations exposed by FAS.
“Our job is to not only expose violations and punish the violators. We want to create such conditions that make cartel agreements impossible: changes in the federal legislation (Nos. 44-FZ and 223-FZ Federal Laws), finer tuning of informational systems enabling to expose cartels using particular algorithms. An important task is a system for training people that work in the authorities and are involved in public procurement”.
Among the measures undertaken by FAS to solve the issues, the speaker mentioned the so-called antimonopoly compliance. “To prevent antimonopoly violations FAS drafted guidelines on implementing a system of antimonopoly compliance at all levels of the authorities. It is designed to train personnel, establish relevant regulations that considerably reduce possibility to breach the antimonopoly law and the law on public procurement”, commented Deputy Head of FAS.
Finally, Andrey Tsyganov thanked representatives of Pskov regional authorities and Pskov regional FAS Office for the work done to prepare the meeting.
“You have done big preparatory work so we are able to sign an Agreement on Cooperation as a result of this meeting. You can fully rely on our support and joint efforts to pursuer the Orders and achieve the objectives set by the President of the Russian Federation for us”, summed up Deputy Head of FAS.
“Competition development stimulates healthy markets, especially in those sectors where budgetary enterprises dominate. For our region they include medicine, public transport, social fields, veterinary and some other sectors. We need efficient measures that can help attract private capital to those markets. Public-private partnership, subsidies, transparent public procurement – are just a small part of the tools, using which the goal and objectives set by the President can be reached”, said Mikhail Vedernikov 2.
Acting Governor reported that Pskov will commit to 35 targets out of 41proposed by FAS, comprising the main markets of goods and services. He clarified: “These are sectors of the economy where we will be consistently increasing the share of private companies and reducing the share of public sector by 2022”.
During the Pskov visit Andrey Tsyganov also had a meeting with Chief Federal Inspector in the Pskov region, Andrey Kalinin. They discussed pursuing the National Competition Development Plan and the orders issued by the President of Russia upon the State Council for developing competition.
1 No. 618 Order of the President of Russia "On the main directions of the state policy towards developing competition" of 21.12.2017