After publication of the article “CEC is getting ready for the Referendum; the Disappearing Inks has been bought” in our website, the Central Electoral Commission circulated a clarification in mass media telling that our calculations were incorrect. After some observations we again address to this issue explaining the CEC clarification about the procurement by the CEC.
Thus, a simple comparison: according to the official website of state procurement gnumner.am, on 19 December 2012, the Central Electoral Commission paid around 14 million 854 thousand AMD (around 36540 USD) for the disappearing ink in 100 ml containers and the stamp pads. According to the contract signed between the CEC and Baleno Sustainable Global Development Company, the cost including the travel costs amounted to 36240 USD.
We learn from the same gnumner.am website that on 12 October 2015, the Central Electoral Commission paid around 21 million 373 thousand AMD (around 45090 USD) for the disappearing ink and the stamp pads.
But, attention, according to the contract signed between the CEC and Baleno Sustainable Global Development Company, the cost including the travel costs amounted to 39994 USD.
(Notably, when we first asked the CEC to provide a copy of the purchase and sale contract of 2015, they refused to provide it on reasoning “it will be publicized on the established order.” And only after the second inquiry when we told that the answer was not based on the requirements of the Law on Freedom of Information and is in violation of the statutory right of access to information, a copy of the contract was provided.)
Trying not to be hasty in conclusions, we tried to get clarification from the Commission, what is the explanation of such difference. Mr. Levon Grigoryan, the Head of Staff of CEC mentioned in his reply that the payment of the cost provided in the contract was made in the following sequence:
“1) 15.10.2015 – Prepayment of the 70% of the contract price, which amounted to 13.398.885,6 AMD or 27996 USD (Central Bank selling rate of 1USD = 478.6 AMD)
2) 10.11.2015 – The final payment of the remaining 30% of the contract price, which amounted to 5.815.430,6 AMD or 11998 USD (Central Bank selling rate of 1USD = 484.7 AMD)
In fact, according to the mentioned contract the sum of 19.214.316.2 AMD or 39994 USD was paid for the purchased of the disappearing ink and the stamp pads, including the cost of transportation of goods till the airport of Tbilisi.
First, it is due to mention that the Head of Staff of CEC should have known that the Central Bank does not have purchase and sale rates and establishes only one rate with which calculations are made. Another thing is that the CEC buys the USD according to the exchange rate of a definite bank. has to pay for sales dollar goes to a specific bank rate. We learn from the Central Bank that the exchange rate of the USD on 15 October was 473.05 AMD and not 478.6, and on 10 November it was 481.62 AMD and not 484.7.
Anyway, it is clear that according to the simple calculation of the Head of Staff of CEC, it turns out that a sum of 19 million 214 thousand AMD and not 21 million 373 thousand AMD was paid for the purchase of the good. Notably, the information that the good was purchased with 21 million 373 thousand AMD is indicated not only in gnumner.am website, but in the mentioned above clarification that CEC circulated in mass media.
When circulating the clarification they could have mentioned that in reality less sum had been paid (around 5000 USD), than the sum allocated by the Government. As they were “accused” for purchasing of a more expensive price, and publishing such information issued from their own interest.
According to the Government’s 663-N decision, dated June 18, on allocation of 27.289.860 AMD to CEC from the reserve fund for financing the purchase of special disappearing material which disappears 12 hours after stamping the identification documents. The annex of the same decision inform that 21 million 373 thousand AMD of the mentioned sum was allocated for the purchase of the office materials and 5.917.066 for taxes and other expenses.
In his reply, Mr. Levon Grigoryan, the Head of Staff of CEC, mentioned what taxes were paid for the delivery of the purchased goods from Tbilisi to Yerevan, and what expenses were paid. The total cost of customs fees amounted to 5,016,444 drams, the broker fee was 5000 AMD. The cost for transportation services by a specially designed thermos containers truck from Tbilisi services amounted to 500 thousand AMD. This means that the total costs amounted to 5,521,444AMD. In other words, the costs for this portion were about 400 thousand AMD less than planned by the Government.
Finally, Levon Grigoryan mentioned that the amount of 24735.760.2 AMD had been actually spent from the sum allocated by the Government. “The balance is 2.554.099.8 AMD, which, according to the law, will be returned to the state budget at the end of fiscal year 2015.”
Perhaps the only thing that we have to do is to thank the Commission for its clarification, that compelled to carry out an investigation and to ensure that the sum of over 2 million AMD, which “had disappeared with the light hand” of CEC, is returned to the state budget.
The CEC has not made any notes in the purchase and sale document about the quantity of the goods. There is no indication either whether the above mentioned amount includes the transportation costs as well. The details are revealed only from the contract concluded between the parties. This is why in case of this year’s purchase, when the contract on sale was not published (and as we already mentioned the CEC provided it with difficulty) we used as a starting point for the comparison the document, which was published in gnumner.am website.