Why do we need purchases, and what does it look like from an IT point of view
There are four groups of tender purchases:
- Government procurement - when something is bought by a government agency like the Ministry of Health or a state institution such as a school. They are carried out in the rigid framework of 44-FZ, every one of them is strictly regulated there.
- Corporate purchases - when, for example, companies with state participation are purchased, their subsidiaries and granddaughters, natural monopolies. Such purchases are conducted in a milder framework of the 223-FZ.
- Commercial purchases - when the purchase is fully conducted by a private company that just wants to buy something cheaper.
- Closed purchases - when invited suppliers from a closed list, for example, due to the presence of state secrets.
On commercial purchases, I will tell you separately. In the meantime, we are interested in purchases of 44-FZ and 223-FZ. It all started with paper. And this was a big problem.
How is the ecosystem implemented
At first there were only paper procurement procedures. Here, in a post about the openness of this ecosystem, I already wrote why it became necessary to transfer government purchases to electronic form. Began to try. First (in 2009), an experiment was conducted on the first three sites:
- “The Unified Electronic Trading Platform ”;
- site "Agency for the state order of the Republic of Tatarstan";
- Sberbank-AST site.
The experiment was a success - everyone was satisfied with the results. Integration with the official public procurement website(then - EP, now - ENI) was successful. The state was convinced that with the help of electronic auctions you can save the budget. In order to increase competition between sites, in 2010 they decided to conduct a full-fledged selection of “electronic bidding operators on state orders”. Despite the fact that a total of 14 applications were filed, only five sites passed the selection, and as a result, the following were added to the already existing three:
- RTS-Tender platform;
- the platform "MICEX" (now - "National Electronic Platform").
Then in 2016 (at the suggestion of one of the ministries) it was decided to include another site in this list - the Russian Auction House. And in 2017, the AST GOZ specialized platform was created to conduct only closed procedures containing a state secret.
After making major amendments to 44-FZ and 223-FZ in 2018, a new selection of electronic trading platforms was conducted.
Now the final list of existing sites for public and corporate procurement is as follows:
- "A single electronic trading platform";
- platform "Agency for the state order of the Republic of Tatarstan";
- Sberbank-AST site;
- platform "RTS-Tender";
- “National electronic platform”;
- platform "Russian auction house";
- site "TEK-Torg";
- ETP GPB (the electronic trading platform of Gazprombank);
- AST GOZ platform (only for closed purchases).
So what is an electronic trading platform? For a regular user, the site looks like a regular website with the possibility of registration and subsequent access to a personal account. In fact, this is a multi-level information system in which accredited suppliers, having authorized by electronic signature (ES), can choose the tender that interests them and take part in it. The procurement procedure itself takes place almost entirely in an automated mode according to the rules of procurement established by laws. Hands supplier will have to work only when submitting quotations during the auction, when he independently monitors the course of bidding. The ranking of participants at the prices offered is also automatic. But the customer determines the winner himself, although with the help of structured information from the site.
Around all of this has already formed a certain service infrastructure. Procurement participants need to understand what financial services they need, how to get an ES and how to work with it. Some of them, especially beginners, need to learn and get, so to speak, some instructions for action. And someone needs to understand the specifics of the procurement of a particular large company, because he wants to sell his products only to her. And customers also sometimes need hints. All this led to the creation of various additional services.
One of the most difficult was the task of setting up a system for securing applications and introducing the mechanism of special bank accounts. I will tell you more about this separately, there are just a lot of interesting nuances.
There is also a state “independent registrar” working on the principle of a black box in an airplane. With the help of special equipment, this system monitors and screens all actions during the bidding process. It looks like a web archive, only with high details.
How did this all evolve?
After the ecosystem started working, there were still many different changes. As laws changed to more closely match the realities of the digital age, marketplaces also changed to make it easier for customers and suppliers.
Recently electronic contests, requests for quotations and requests for proposals have been added to electronic auctions. Since October, customers have used them at will, and since January 1, these methods of procurement have become mandatory for use. Thus, in less than 10 years, we almost came to 100% electronicization of government procurement.
The financial model of participation in the procurement is as follows: to apply for participation in the procurement, you need to make a security. This is done to ensure that some nonhumans, for example, do not collapse the bidding. Having secured the application, you seem to confirm the seriousness of your intentions to participate in the tender. Security is a percentage of the contract amount.
If earlier (until October 2018), collateral was deposited into a personal account at the site where it was blocked during the tenders, now it must be deposited into special accounts in banks selected by the government.
Also, the legislator has introduced a tariff fee that anyone who signs a contract is obliged to pay. The size of such a tariff is 1% of the initial contract price, but not more than 5,000 rubles. For social non-profit organizations and small businesses, a preferential tariff limit is set - no more than 2,000 rubles.
And starting January 1, 2019, all suppliers must register with the Unified Procurement Information System (EIS). Such registration allows you to pass accreditation once and immediately on all electronic sites selected for 44-FZ, and not on each site individually.
To maintain the site and implement all these changes, we have an IT department of 400 people (most of them are development and support of gateways and integration modules to banks and platforms of large customers, and of course, struggle with Legacy). In addition, we have two data centers with a second class of protection.
What else is different from each other electronic trading platforms?
The main services and functionality of the sites practically do not differ from each other, but there is still a difference.
Here is the main list of differences:
- The number of suppliers accredited to the site. EETP, for example, accredits more than 450 thousand suppliers involved in procurement, which is quite a high figure compared with some sites. That is, the level of competition, and, accordingly, the efficiency of trading on our site can be significantly higher.
- Additional services for suppliers. For example, a large company can contact us with a list of suppliers whose participation is desirable for this company. Further, we will organize the accreditation of these suppliers on our site, and they will participate in the procurement along with the other participants (with their competitors).
- At the request of our customers, we conduct a marketing analysis of the market and identify the market value of goods, works and services. Suppose a company is not sure that what it buys now is really worth the money. Our specialists carry out a market analysis for it and report the real value of a particular product / work / service.
- High-quality technical characteristics and stability of the site and services.
- Technical and legal support. We have our own 24-hour call center for quick and convenient customer assistance. Not every ground can boast of such convenience either.
In general, each aspect of the site’s work can go almost endlessly starting with which encryption algorithm is selected for the electronic signature (and what huge loads it creates in the wake of the bot attack), and ending with the architecture of electronic procedures.
A lot of things, of course, occur in parsers and connectors: there is a special kind of highload. We have even come up against the fact that very few people understand the optimization on the PHP stack: when we interview developers, they most often come from the web, and their algorithms have extremely latent skills.
But I will continue to get in touch and tell you how it is. Because one of our tasks is to make sure that as many people as possible in the country understand exactly how the digital purchasing ecosystem really works.