The budget is empowered not to delay // Terms of settlements under government contracts and the register of unscrupulous suppliers are becoming shorter

The White House continues to tighten budget discipline in government orders for the sake of timely contracting and accelerating the inflow of budget investments into the economy. To this end, the government has three times reduced the terms of settlements under government contracts and expanded the possibilities for redistributing budget allocations between capital construction projects, depending on their readiness. To eliminate the peak of contracting at the end of the year, the authorities exclude the possibility of editing the budget list for financing contracts concluded after December 1. The government also regulates the procedure for recognizing suppliers as unfair, which should reduce risks in working with government orders and eliminate the practice of blacklisting bona fide companies.

Since July 1, the White House has updated the rules for settlements for state purchases under the law on the contract system (FZ-44), it follows from the government decree No. 034 of June 28, 2021, published on Friday. Government customers will have to pay for the delivered goods or work performed within ten days after signing the acceptance document, and when working with small and medium-sized businesses – within seven days (now – 30 and 15 working days, respectively). The innovations are being introduced in pursuance of the president’s instructions, according to the government’s press service. At the same time, the acceleration of settlements on budgetary obligations is only one of the measures to increase the evenness of budget spending and reduce the risks of non-fulfillment.

The published document will allow the main administrators of budgetary funds to flexibly finance obligations upon completion of work. To this end, the government is expanding the practice of applying a complex request – the possibility of reallocating budget allocations to accelerate the introduction of capital construction projects ahead of the schedule by postponing the deadlines. According to the rules, the main managers must agree on the request for redistribution with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and the responsible executor of the state program – the government commission on regional development approves it. The mechanism applies both to capital investments in objects of federal, regional and municipal property, and to budget investments in business objects; At the same time, funds can be redistributed both within one financial year and within the framework of the budgetary three-year period. The potential for reallocation of funds is expected to push agencies into competition for budget allocations and accelerate project contracting, helping to eliminate concentration of procurement at the end of the year and equal spending throughout the year. For these purposes, the government also prohibits changes to the budget list to expand funding for contracts concluded after December 1.

The guarantees of timely settlements under contracts should also increase the attractiveness of government orders for potential suppliers and increase competition in it. Note that a new procedure for recognizing suppliers as unscrupulous should contribute to reducing the risks of counterparties when working under FZ-44 – a resolution on this was also approved by the government (No. 1078 of June 30, 2021). It regulates the procedure for including companies in the register of unscrupulous suppliers (RNP), challenging such decisions and excluding companies from the register.

The new rules, among other things, provide for cases in which the FAS may not include the supplier in the RNP: for example, if the company proves that it had no intentions to evade the conclusion of the contract, or violations on the part of the customer are revealed. Until now, market participants have recorded a bias in the system in favor of government customers and their abuse of complaints against suppliers – often violations of the latter are unintentional, and business manages to challenge them in court (see Kommersant, June 26).

Diana Galieva

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