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'Suspicious' companies win early Ukraine reconstruction contracts for war-ravaged Kiev suburb, Transparency International says

By Ukraine Rebuild News Staff

Most of the early contracts in an estimated 1 billion-euro project to rebuild the Kiev suburb of Irpin, the scene of heavy fighting last year, were granted to “suspicious” companies with no open bidding, said Transparency International Ukraine.

About 547 contracts have been granted by local authorities to rebuild Irpin, a town of 65,000 residents that was invaded by Russia in March of 2022 and retaken by Ukrainian forces weeks later, but only 28 contracts were concluded via the Ukrainian government’s trackable ProZorro online bidding process, the anti-corruption group said in a report.

By value, contracts awarded so far total about 933 million hryvni ($25 million), and Transparency International said contracts worth 434 million hryvni, or almost half, were awarded to six “suspicious” companies with a history of criminal cases, including local contractors I.B.K. Development, LLC BK Kyiv-M-Bud, LLC 703 Metalworking Plant of Boiler Equipment and others.

While the major rebuild of Ukraine expected to come when the fighting ends will likely be overseen by an international body, the early Irpin contracts were handed out by local authorities including the Department of Regional Development of the Kyiv Regional State Administration, the Executive Committee of the Irpin City Council and the Infrastructure Restoration and Development Service in Kyiv Oblast.

The costs, in part, were covered by organizations such as UNICEF, Terre des Hommes Italy, IOM Ukraine, Open Door Ukraine, IOCC, Adra Ukraine, UNDP, NEFCO, the Government of Japan, the Lithuanian Demolition Association.

Transparency International’s global Corruption Perceptions Index gives Ukraine a score of 33 out of 100 in its fight against corruption, labelling the country as one of the most corrupt in Europe. Some 23% of public service users in Ukraine paid a bribe in the 12 months preceding the latest Transparency report, according to the researchers.

Volodymyr Karpliuk, chairman of the Irpin Investment Council, has estimated reconstruction of the suburb will cost $1 billion, including $850 million to rebuild housing and $150 million to rebuild infrastructure.

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