Citing its sources, “168 Hours” has published an article in its September 24-25 issue, referring to a “growing scandal” over diesel procurements at the Defense Ministry.
In particular, the newspaper writes that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan prefers that the Ministry of Defense agree to use Iranian diesel fuel as a result of the procurement process, which is believed to be of poor quality, and it may not be usable especially in winter. Then, citing its sources again, the newspaper notes that “MP Roman Muradyan nominated by the ruling My Step Alliance is at the head of the case.”
First of all, we should note that Roman Muradyan, who was nominated for the snap parliamentary elections by the My Step Alliance, has not become a Member of Parliament. He occupied 162nd place on the My Step Alliance list of candidates, and was not included in the parliamentary “My Step” faction as a result of the election. The headline and the text of the newspaper, which say the MP is behind the deal under discussion, do not correspond to the reality.
The Fact Investigation Platform contacted Roman Muradyan to find out what he had to do with the deal under discussion. The latter noted that “Gasoil” LLC affiliated with him won the tender for diesel fuel supply announced by the Ministry of Defense on September 18 this year. According to the contract, the company was to supply 4779 tons of summer diesel fuel. In addition to the Gasoil LLC, Flash and CPS Oil companies also submitted proposals, but their price offers were higher. The same amount was offered by Gasoil LLC for 2,389,495,221 AMD, and Flash and CPS Oil LLCs offered 2,475,522,000 and 2,465,964,000 AMD, respectively.
As for the quality of diesel fuel and its unsuitability to use during the winter months, the contract with the Ministry of Defense informs us that the company has committed to supply summer diesel fuel, which is suitable for use at specific temperatures, and winter diesel fuel will be obtained for winter. However, this information is not given by the newspaper.
Speaking to Fip.am, Muradyan, however, confirmed that problems have arisen with the MoD at this stage. Although they imported diesel fuel of the Euro-5 standard, which received a certificate from the laboratory of the National Institute of Standards CJSC, the laboratory of the Ministry of Defense identified some problems. Muradyan claims that unlike the National Institute of Standards CJSC, the MOD laboratory is not accredited, and the diesel fuel has been tested with an “oil gauge”.
“Our diesel fuel was tested at the border. If it had not met the standards, they would not have allowed to import it because the laboratory gives its conclusion” Muradyan says.
The latter noted that a commission has been set up in the MOD to investigate the case and he “trusts the professionalism of the commission.”
Fip.am also contacted Defense Ministry Spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan. The latter noted that this issue is now in the focus of attention of Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan.
“There are always risks in big procurement tenders. Everything will be done to solve the problem within the framework of healthy competition and the law” Hovhannisyan said.
Thus, the newspaper lied, presenting Muradyan as an MP from the “My Step” faction. 168 Hours has also manipulated information, failing to note that summer diesel has been acquired, and has also not attempted to reach out to stakeholders to provide comprehensive and accurate information.