The regional department of digital development due to a formal approach and improper execution of powers allowed ineffective and inefficient spending in the amount of 26.7 million rubles, according to the results of the audit of the regional Accounts Chamber. The office published a report, the drafters of which did not limit themselves in harsh evaluations of the work of the Belodomov digitizers.
The Court of Accounts criticized the digitalization of the period, when the former vice-governor Arkady Botsan-Kharchenko was responsible for this direction. Under him the regional Department of Digital Development appeared. The authorities announced the creation of the new institution in July 2019. The first evidence of the existence of the department dates back to November 2020. Sergei Orlov, a graduate of VlSU Radio Department, who previously headed the regional Russian Post, was appointed head of the department. The Department has started to implement the regional program “Information Society”, which was the focus of attention of the Accounts Chamber.
According to the oversight body, in 2020 and 2021, the department did not perform the coordination of interdepartmental cooperation between other regional authorities. The documents defining these activities were outdated, and no one was updating them or complying with them. The department did not even bother to compile a list of information technologies available in the White House’s arsenal:
“The legal framework governing the obligation of executive branch agencies to follow uniform requirements when implementing information technology projects has not been created. DRC does not have reliable and complete information on the availability of information systems used by the executive branch of the Vladimir region.
Worse, the department in its activities incorrectly outpaced the performance targets, and they were not supported by reports and statistics. The auditors of the Accounts Chamber concluded that in developing the “strategic planning” of the digital transformation, the responsible persons wrote several documents, loosely related to each other:
“Digital transformation is designated as the national goal of the country’s development. To achieve it, a range of tasks is defined, including at the level of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation (hereinafter, the RF). However, the strategic planning documents of the Vladimir region are not fully focused on the implementation of the tasks and do not correlate with each other.
The Department of Digital Development signed a contract for 19.9 million rubles at the expense of the federal budget. This money was to be used to automate priority areas of state supervision. An examination of the terms of reference showed that its cost was overstated by a factor of 10. The work was accepted with violations of the terms of the contract, and the cost of actually rendered services on it was only 3.7%.
“According to the survey of public authorities of the Vladimir region the software product for the automation of priority types of regional state control is difficult to operate and unstable. The share of inspections, information about which is entered into the unified register of inspections using a unified system of interagency electronic interaction, in 2020 was 4.7%, in 2021 – 5.6%, with a planned value of the target indicator of 75%.”
In 2021, the department purchased 143 domestic computers (58.6 thousand rubles apiece) under the program of modernization of IT-infrastructure of the White House. 116 of them had never been used at the time of the audit.
The conclusion on the implementation of the regional program quite clearly indicates an assessment of the activities of former Vice-Governor Arkady Botsan-Kharchenko:
“When considering and discussing the results of the audit at the College of the Accounts Chamber, the conclusion, formulated in the report of the Accounts Chamber on the execution of the regional budget for 2020, about the loss of governability of the region as a result of the earlier administrative reform was confirmed. The decision to liquidate the Committee of Informatization and Communications of the Vladimir region administration and create the DCR did not lead to an increase in the volume of functions performed and did not solve the problem of fragmentation of information and communication infrastructure of public authorities”.
Responsibility for the failure, in all likelihood, will have to the director of the department. The Accounts Chamber sent a presentation to him. The results of the audit were also sent to the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement agencies. The Acting Governor Alexander Avdeev and the deputies of the Legislative Assembly were informed about the state of affairs with information.