Skolkovo and cookies: the fund accuses residents of misuse of grants

    Photo: Sergey Bobylev / Kommersant

    Skolkovo Foundation plans to sue its residents, accusing them of misuse of the grants. The amount of the Skolkovo lawsuit is 44.9 million rubles. for the pharmaceutical company Pharma Bio, and another 225 thousand rubles. for Parallels IT company, Kommersant writes. Representatives of the latter claim that there is no talk of misuse of funds - the company purchased tea and cookies for employees on the fund’s money, which was not prohibited by the rules of the fund.

    Parallels says they disagree with allegations of misuse of funds, but are ready to make a settlement. The terms of this agreement are currently under discussion. In the case of this company, funds were allocated as part of a grant of 150 million rubles. back in May 2011. Money was given to the developer of a software platform that allows you to create "clouds", the operational costs of which would be lower than all existing technologies. With the funds provided, the company planned to purchase equipment for research, and hire 140 engineers. “The grant expired in the first half of 2012, and the audit was conducted at the end of 2013. During this period, the rules of the Skolkovo Foundation have changed, ”a Parallel representative comments on the situation.

    “The company paid the cost of food: tea, cookies, fruits, laid out in the public domain in the office. This corresponded to the rules that were in force at that time, but subsequently such expenses were banned, ”Parallels said. It is worth noting that regarding the remaining 149.7 million rubles. the fund has no complaints.

    The rules for the use of grants have really changed, this is confirmed by the top manager of one of the largest IT companies in Russia. “I recently came to the Skolkovo IT cluster for a business meeting, and my interlocutor apologized for not being able to offer me tea, because now you can’t even buy water with the fund’s money,” he said.

    Based on the results of work in 2014, the Skolkovo Foundation submitted a report according to which the amount of approved grants amounted to 10.6 billion rubles last year, while the number of participating companies reached 1147, and the total revenue of the companies amounted to 43.6 billion rubles.

    A full audit of the operations of the reporting company to which Skolkovo funds are allocated has the right to be conducted once every six months or a year. At the same time, the fund has the right to request funds allocated under the grant if these funds were used in violation. “If the fact of misuse of funds is proved, and the fact of fraud is discovered, the defendant may also face criminal penalties,” says Anastasia Astashkevich, head of the international legal practice of the Bar Association Chaadaev, Kheifets and Partners.

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