Facebook Pixel

Kubrakov's Final Chord: The DREAMy Bill "On the Principles of Reconstruction" – The Scandalous "Reform" 5655

Heorhiy Mohylnyi
Analyst of the Civil Initiative "Holka"("The Needle")

Almost a month has passed since the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. However, a bill "On the Principles of Reconstruction of Ukraine" quickly appeared on the website of the ministry he headed.

And here, there's nothing new. Once again, there is an attempt to push through the norms of the scandalous urban planning "reform" 5655, which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refuses to sign and which has been harshly criticized by the European Parliament and the European Union. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House noted that imperfect regulation may lead to construction cartels.

The project assigns a special role to the DREAM electronic system. The authors present this system as a "single window" for reconstruction projects, which "will make it easier to spot possible corruption, without relying on whistle-blowing journalists." But upon reviewing the draft law, it becomes clear that DREAM will certainly won’t be an effective anti-corruption filter. There are serious risks that it will be just a very expensive presentation for partners with loud slogans about fighting corruption.

The Civil Initiative "Holka" (The Needle) analyzed this legislative initiative. All DREAM can do is monitor whether the purchase prices in construction correspond to the real market prices. But no one plans to steal during the large-scale reconstruction based on price. They will steal based on the quantity of materials. This could be prevented if there was access to construction projects. Currently, the government has closed access to this at its discretion, and Kubrakov's project proposes to legalize this.

Where else can theft occur? Theft can occur on the "difference in destruction." It could be recorded that a kindergarten is 40% destroyed, when in reality only the windows are broken. Therefore, it is also necessary to control whether the indicated scale of destruction is indeed accurate.

It is impossible to verify what is happening just with a system of data. Real control at the construction site cannot be replaced by DREAM. Why? Because it is possible to write that we are doing part of the work with diamonds, metaphorically speaking, but in reality, it will be done with polystyrene. That is, we will pay for diamonds at the price of diamonds, but receive... polystyrene.

This is entirely possible. If we rely only on DREAM, transparent reconstruction will remain a dream. In construction, there are works that later become invisible to the human eye from the outside, so you will never know whether cheap or expensive materials were used.

Ukraine has the State Architectural and Construction Inspection. Many officials and politicians praise it, but like DREAM, it has not been and is not a tool that will help fight corruption.

Currently, State Inspection inspectors can turn a blind eye to violations embedded in the project. If they are not obliged to control this, there is no punishment for criminal negligence. If it were a duty, it would fall under the jurisdiction of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, because we are talking about a very high value of the crime object. This would significantly reduce the corruption risks of abuses at the initial stage of launching construction.

But the authorities, both now and before the full-scale war, did not need control when it came to large sums of money. Before the launch of the "Big Construction" program, which was meant to promote the president and his team, the government banned construction inspections. They are currently also banned because of the war.

To understand the intentions of the authorities for reconstruction, it is equally important to consider what is missing from the reconstruction law. It is impossible to digitize reconstruction if there is no digitization of construction itself, which is based on BIM technology. Why are they needed?

According to the EU BIM Task Group, the use of BIM design (Building Information Modeling) allows saving 10 to 20% of construction costs, providing not only savings but also a significant acceleration of construction through automation in organization. In some European countries, BIM is already mandatory for public construction, and others are gradually transitioning to it.

In our country, this will provide an additional anti-corruption effect, as it, firstly, allows automating the project review process and eliminates the current risks of project manipulations. Secondly, it brings construction control to a completely different level of transparency. But is this needed by those who want to manage the funds for large-scale reconstruction?

The legislative changes left to us as Kubrakov's legacy are not about fighting corruption. This is a matrix that allows hiding schemes and making sure there is no responsibility for them. And the DREAM system in this process is assigned the role not even of an anti-corruption dream, but a mirage in front of the public and Western partners.

(By following the link, you can read the analysis of this draft law).

Join us on social networks!
Thank 🎉
The Page Logo
Would you like to become a columnist of The Page?
Just drop as a line at [email protected]