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Russia's Federal Protective Service wants to hide its procurement deals from prying eyes

Source: Vedomosti

Russia’s Federal Protective Service (FSO) has drafted legislation that would grant it secrecy privileges awarded to the Defense Ministry and Federal Security Service, allowing the agency to classify its procurement contracts. If the law is adopted, the FSO could conduct these deals on closed electronic platforms, according to Vedomosti.

A source in Russia’s intelligence community told the newspaper that federal officials believe current transparency levels could leak information about the technical equipment used to secure government communications. The deputy director of Transparency International Russia, however, warns that this could open the door to even more corruption.

Do we know of anyone in the FSO who’s allegedly stolen money from procurement deals? Yes. Investigators say FSO Major General Igor Vasiliev embezzled money allocated to engineering and technical support for a construction project at the presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo. He supposedly conspired with the owners of the Baltstroy holding company and several other high-ranking FSO officials to steal 1.5 billion rubles ($22.6 million) from the government by overcharging for air conditioners and roofing.

In a post on Telegram, the television network Dozhd recalled the FSO’s five biggest procurement deals over the past six years: 5.5 billion rubles ($82.9 million) in 2015 for the reconstruction of the Beloomut Waterworks Plant, 3.7 billion rubles ($55.8 million) in 2016 for renovations to Moscow’s intelligent transportation system, 2.6 billion rubles ($39.2 million) in 2015 for renovations to the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building, 2.3 billion rubles ($34.7 million) in 2014 for the construction of a Chekhov Moscow Art Theater annex building, and 1.5 billion rubles ($22.6 million) in 2013 for the restoration of the Novo-Ekaterininskaya Hospital.

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