Krasnodar, 8 August – Yug Times. Oleg Tikhenky, Director of the regional branch of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, tells about high-profile antimonopoly cases, the new Standard for Development of Competition that depends upon the fulfilment of sectorial programs, typical tender malpractices, and the enforcement of the new legal clause providing for criminal responsibility for cartel agreements.
Q.: How would you assess the current level of competition in Krasnodar province?
A.: Krasnodar province is recognised among the national leaders on the progress of competition. This is connected with both objective reasons: large population and many business entities operating in the region, and with the measures that are being taken by the regional authorities and executive bodies.
Control over the biddings connected with the implementation of the Presidential ‘May decrees’ is one of the priority activity tasks of the regional branch of the Federal Antimonopoly Service. So far, no significant malpractices have been revealed in the region, and – bearing in mind very careful attention of both federal and regional governmental bodies - I believe that such malpractices will not be registered in the future, either.
Q.: Control over the observation of laws in the process of biddings is another important part of the regional antimonopoly authority’s work. What kind of malpractices have been most frequently revealed by your authority?
A.: We really follow a lot of different biddings. All large purchases with big money are subject to the Federal Law No. 44. It is worth noting that the law was significantly amended this year, especially as regards capital overhauls and ‘new’ construction projects. In particular, the very procedure of auctioning has become simplified. Practically all economic entities are now allowed to take part in the first stage of biddings; the time needed to shift to the second stage has been reduced to four hours.
Now the antimonopoly officers are setting hopes upon the alteration of the legislative basis for the Federal Law No. 223, “Purchases by certain types of legal entities, governmental companies.” The law was written so that the customers were granted a great many rights; they have wide opportunities for manoeuvring. And, of course, there is room for malpractices here. We hope that this law will be amended, and biddings will become more transparent.
Q.: In what sectors are cartel agreements most frequently revealed?
A.: In the first half of the year, we filed ten suits on violation of the antimonopoly law in terms of Clause 2 of Part 1 of Article 11 of the Law “On protection of competition.” They concerned cartels between competing economic entities that result or may result in the increase, decrease or fixing of existing prices in the course of biddings.