On November 18, 2021, the Police announced a tender for the procurement of car wash services for Patrol Service vehicles in Yerevan. On January 5, 2022, a contract was signed with the announced winner of the tender “AKA 3” LLC.
Both the purchase order and the contract stipulated that the company should have the capacity to wash at least 3 cars at the same time, be located close to the permanent locations of the Patrol Service, and also have an indoor waiting room with an area of at least 15 square meters.
However, as a result of the regular audit conducted in the Police in the first nine months of 2022, the Audit Chamber revealed that a number of contractual clauses were not observed by the service provider “AKA 3” LLC. In particular, the car wash does not have a separate indoor waiting room with an area of at least 15 square meters, it is located further from the area stipulated in the contract, and it also does not have the capacity to wash 3 cars at the same time.
In this regard, the Police did not give any explanation to the Audit Chamber, but taking into account the subsequent tenders, we can say that they took note of it, since in December 2022, in the tender announced for washing of the cars of the Patrol Service of the city of Yerevan, they made a change in the invitation to bid. Instead of the requirement to ensure a capacity for washing 3 cars at the same time, they set the requirement to wash 2 cars, as well as new standards for the location, while the area of the waiting room was set to 10-15 square meters instead of the previous 15 square meters.
It is noteworthy that there are significant differences in the purchase orders for car wash services, depending on their locations. For example, the criteria defined in the purchase order for the provision of the same service in the regions of Armenia are completely different. At the same time, instead of the requirement to wash several cars, the requirement of the minimum surface area of the car wash is set at 25 square meters, the presence of an indoor waiting room is not required, etc.
It is unclear what the reason for having different terms of reference for the same service is.
“AKA 3” LLC was also the winner in the subsequent tenders for provision of car wash services both in Yerevan and in a number of regional cities.
However, as a result of the audit of the procurement process, the Audit Chamber also found certain inconsistencies. In particular, as a result of the audit of the performance of the first six months of the 2023 budget of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it was revealed that in fact “AKA 3” LLC delegates car washing services to other companies, while it does not have the right to do so and is obliged to provide the service itself. In addition, the company was paid for a service not yet provided.
Thus, as a result of the audit of car wash services only, the Audit Chamber found a number of violations, as a result of which it can be concluded that “AKA 3” LLC was granted a de facto preferential status by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Police changed the terms of the next tender in such a way that it would be more convenient to that company.