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LTV reports Russian goods in state procurement system

When ordering goods in the Electronic Procurement System (EIS), where state and local government institutions shop, it is possible to receive a surprise – a product manufactured in Russia. Latvian Television received such on Wednesday, January 17.

Representatives of the electronic system said LTV was the first to report such a case. Distribution of those goods in the system has been stopped immediately, but offenders may even face criminal liability.

The Electronic Procurement System, or EIS, has been created for state and local government institutions to purchase the necessary standardized goods – from computer hardware, medicines, and stationary, to tea. The choice is not great, but the description is detailed enough. LTV ordered several boxes of tea which were described to have been made in Sri Lanka.

Unloading what was delivered revealed the tea was made in Russia, St. Petersburg, well after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Chairman of LTV Board Ivars Priede pointed out that the trader provided false information, so the goods would be returned.

LLC “Lanekss”, which delivered the product, has won an open tender for the right to supply food to EIS system participants. The Lanekss employee said in a brief phone call that it was not possible to conduct an interview because the company's management was very busy. The company also did not respond to questions asked in an email until the end of business hours.

The electronic procurement system is overseen by the National Regional Development Agency (VRAA). The agency said it was impossible to track the manufacturers of each item among several tens of thousands of products. Suppliers of goods have therefore been warned in writing of the European Regulation on public procurement and of the fact that it prohibits the purchase of goods from Russia.

“It is particularly stressed that this applies not only to direct suppliers, not only importers, from whom “Lanekss” has taken their commodity but to the entire supply chain,” said Oļegs Fiļipovičs, director of the NRAA's Department of Electronic Procurement.

“We currently blocked the sale of the product and we will also ask for explanations from “Lanekss” and the infringement review committee will decide in standard order what the next action will be,” Fiļipovičs explained.

The agency said that since the adoption of the regulation in April 2022, this is the first case a company has been caught delivering Russian-made goods in public procurement. Selling a seemingly innocent tea pack in such a situation may possibly be treated as a violation of international and national sanctions for which criminal liability has been imposed in Latvia.

The agency said that the particular case will be referred to law enforcement.

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