Bathroom accessories

August 23, 2016

Have you tightened your belt during the recession? It seems the administrative authorities of Vladimir Region haven’t exactly been giving it a lot of thought.


The state procurement website shows that Vladimir Region’s department for administrative buildings ordered items totalling 1.9 million roubles, including a gold and ivory side-table, a lamp for 75 thousand, a brush holder for 17 thousand, and – wait for it – a toilet brush for 23 thousand roubles!

Our Duma candidate from Vladimir Region, Kirill Nikolenko, reckons that the purchases were destined for the residence of the governor, Svetlana Orlova.

“The purchase of costly pieces of furniture and a toilet brush for 23 thousand roubles was brought to the surface by two ‘murky media outlets’ (as all media organisations in Vladimir Region that don’t glorify the governor are described).

“Everything to do with this story happened at lightning speed, with an impact like that of a vodka-beer cocktail. In a flash the department’s competitive tender request on an e-commerce site was uncovered. Almost instantaneously there was an outpouring of indignation from public opinion, which felt that a bed for 300 thousand, a cupboard for 600 thousand and paperclips for 17 thousand was just going it a bit.

“Like lightning, too, was the reaction from the region’s authorities. Within a day it was announced that the contract would be annulled and the purchase cancelled. Then almost immediately came the swift exposure of what this apparent “accountability to the public mood” really meant. Documents were uncovered showing that everything agreed in the contract had already been delivered to the purchaser at the end of July.

“Officially it isn’t clear for whom the items were intended. But there’s little doubt in the mind of any rational person, given what they were, that they were earmarked for the residence of Governor Orlova. Since the items were actually received by the purchaser, it is highly unlikely that Svetlana Yurevna did not know about them, or that the tender request was made on the personal initiative of the director of this publicly funded institution.

“I suggest that in principle neither our region nor any other should even think of having a residence for the head of the executive branch of the government. The governor’s salary is entirely sufficient to, at the very least, rent somewhere to live and not use subsidized housing, and certainly not offload the burden for equipping their lifestyle on the tax-payer.”



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