What the head of KhMAO said
In a sensational video, the governor of the region, Natalya Komarova, talks with the speaker of the Kogalym City Duma, Alla Govorishcheva. The latter notes that "it is necessary that the contractor strictly observe the construction deadlines." In response, Komarova says: “We have such fun, a game, yes: we develop design estimates immediately in such a way as to stop construction in two months and redo it according to the estimate. It's all there."
“There is ventilation in the terms of reference, but the estimate for it includes zero rubles”
According to the ex-head of capital construction in one of the largest regions of Russia, there is a problem with the reworking of construction projects, and the reason for this is the lack of professionalism of the construction customers, that is, officials, as well as the fact that the entire procedure for preparing for construction has been “crooked” for many years. In particular, it is obvious that the first stage - drawing up an estimate - does not correspond to realities, that is, market prices. This is an old pricing problem in the construction industry - estimates are created on the basis of the base-index method of estimated rationing (BIM). It lies at the heart of all budgeting. This is a calculation of the estimated cost of construction, in which the prices for materials and work are taken at the base level and multiplied by the approved indices.
Base prices are at the level of 2001, they are converted into current prices using an index, which is updated annually by the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation. Despite this, the difference between the prices of materials in state estimates and in the market in real life is increasing every year, by 2020 the gap could reach 70%, since the established indices also do not correspond to reality. In December 2020, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said that from 2022 pricing will switch to a more efficient resource-index model, the transition was scheduled for the second quarter of 2022, but in April 2022 it was moved to January 1, 2023. Only after the transition to the new model, prices will be calculated based on 2022 indicators.
“First, the problems with BIM's 2001 base prices. Secondly, the situation with the construction price is aggravated at the stage of the competitive selection of a contractor, who still “cuts off a piece” from the BIM estimate by tender price reduction. I am categorically against trading with this technique. Thirdly, one of the most difficult reasons is the completeness of project documentation. Expertise will not release a bad project, but an incomplete one - yes. This is a little-known paradox. I quote the expertise: “We look at compliance with the terms of reference, standards, and not ideal parameters. And the customer is responsible for the completeness of the project.”
Example: there is ventilation in the technical part of the project, but in the estimate the cost of ventilation is zero, since it was necessary to meet the budget limits. The project misses the examination, ventilation must be done, but at whose expense? Unfortunate builders manage to not notice such “blunders” of the project right away or see, but they receive a “bill” from the customer that, they say, we will decide everything later, and sign a contract, and 2-3 months after the start of construction, all three reasons are summed up, and this is where the carousel begins:
- stop construction;
- project adjustment;
- new expertise;
- termination of the contract;
- new trades.
And the budget process does not wait, the year is over, the funds have not been disbursed, we are leaving to adjust the budget of the subject.
What we have as a result: 1–1.5 years is lost, the object is standing, or is being built by the contractor at his own peril and risk according to old estimates. But adjustments are slowly coming. All this does not look very pretty, but it is not necessarily some kind of “in the share”. This, unfortunately, is mainly a blatant and now very common lack of professionalism of the customer. Even though it’s “fourth,” it’s actually the root cause.”
“Foreign companies left the market, and everything turned into a corruption field of miracles”
The head of Transparency International, Ilya Shumanov, confirmed the words of the interlocutor of The Insider, and also noted that the corruption component appears in attempts to circumvent the shortcomings of the project. That is, the customer and the contractor “negotiate”, the construction is actually not going according to the project, the project itself changes after the fact. Now, the problem of sanctions has been added to this scheme: because of the war in Ukraine, many foreign manufacturers of building materials and equipment left the Russian Federation, many have no domestic analogues. Projects have to be redone all over the place, the estimates have to be changed accordingly, construction sites have been stopped everywhere. Because of this, there are many options for "agreements" between contractors and officials - customers of the work.
Stopping and disrupting construction deadlines is unprofitable for everyone, but apart from this, the contractor suffers, on whom officials always blame for the failure. And we are talking not only about reputational losses, but often about entering contractors into the “black list”. This means that in the future the company will not be able to take part in tenders - only through the registration of a new legal entity.
“This is a game, and the authorities are playing with a contractor who receives government money for construction. From the first months, as a rule, the contractor understands that the design documentation does not correspond to what needs to be built: often individual structural elements are not designed, other types of materials are indicated, or firefighters put one alarm, but they needed another, and so on. After that, it is required to make changes to the design and estimate documentation. It is sent for state examination, within the framework of this examination it is finalized, corrected (and this is a separate competition for revision), then it is returned to the contractor, he makes changes to the estimate and builds again. And so on in a circle.
The design organization is forced to meet deadlines, find materials and equipment that are included in the project. And most often these are foreign materials and products. Taking into account the fact that many companies have now left Russia, many projects have to be reworked from scratch without analogues, which delays the deadlines and disrupts a large number of works. Now this is a corruption field of miracles, when the contractor, having won the tender and received the project, will discover something new every day and re-pass the state examination.
About the fact that everyone there is in the share - this is just about the system of state control, when the initial project documentation is drawn up somehow, because they blame everything on the contractor, and the contractor on the subcontractor. As for the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, there is a cosmic number of objects with missed commissioning deadlines: for a decade now, several unfinished schools have been under Bastrykin's control. Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug is an unusual region, there are harsh living conditions, and there are plenty of objects with missed deadlines. Maybe this is just the same corruption section.