From March to May 2023, a dozen companies from the so-called “black list” of AMCU (Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine) won tenders worth more than 25 million hryvnias. These companies were “caught up” in conspiracies during procurement and were fined by the Antimonopoly Committee. However, despite the legal restrictions that oblige customers to reject the offers of such enterprises, contracts continue to go to the “conspirators”.

Why does this happen, and how did unscrupulous business executives learn to circumvent the ban?

The only way to get on the “black list” is to take actions that distort the results of competitive bidding and get caught. This is always a “minus” for the state, because related offices practically do not reduce the price.

Currently, the discovered collusion of procurement participants is punished by the AMCU, which imposes a fine of up to 10% of the income (revenue) for the last reporting year, which must be paid within 2 months from the date of receiving the decision, and enter the data about it into the same “black list”.

In August 2020, information about such entities was integrated into the basic functionality of the “Prozorro” system. Simply put, violators were “highlighted” with a special mark. In addition, if the supplier was noticed in the “black list” during the last three years, the customer was forced to reject the offer.

However, with the onset of full-scale war and numerous changes and additions to procurement legislation, this feature is (hopefully temporarily) down. Moreover, if it does not work, one can try to bypass the ban. Actually, both sides of the procurement process now take advantage of it.