Misuse Of Chechen Aid Funding Gets Attention

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 8

Subsidies from the central government in Moscow for the restoration of Chechnya’s social and economic infrastructure are being used to pay suppliers and contractors without any competitive bidding process. A February 17 article by Viktor Semenov in Russky kurier quoted federal auditor Sergei Ryabukhin: “There is no clear mechanism for the organization of competitive purchasing of materials and equipment. Services also are not purchased according to market prices, and that is very important to take into account.”

Ryabukhin said that the federal auditing chamber had discovered “a very large number of violations” connected with the misuse or ineffective use of federal funds. Some forty criminal investigations into such cases have been opened. Ryabukhin seemed to think of these cases as an indication of his agency’s vigilance, but they actually seem like a rather small number given the extent of corruption and the amounts of money involved. Last year the federal budget included 3.5 billion rubles for the restoration of Chechnya–the equivalent of about US$120 million.