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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luzhkov Orders Web Site for City Trade

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov signed Monday a decree on the establishment of an electronic commerce system for city purchases.

Luzhkov intends to use the web site, Mosgortorgi, as means of procuring goods deemed necessary for the city — from maintenance supplies for hospitals, clinics, schools and day-care centers to goods needed by city officials.

The administration spends 120 billion rubles ($4.17 billion) on such items, the bulk of the city's budget, according to figures for 2000. That money is also used to finance a number of scientific projects, including an information system for municipal agencies and organizations.

The city holds tenders for supplying such goods. Information on such tenders is published in several magazines, including Moskovskiye Torgi and Moskovskaya Promyshlennaya Gazeta.

The Moscow Science and Technology Committee and the Center of Electronic Commerce have been assigned the task of establishing the site. However, there is no specified date for when it will begin operations. The mayor's decree is an outline, and a completion day for the web site has not been specified, said Stepan Orlov, a Moscow Duma deputy who oversees information development and telecommunications.

But when the site is established, producers will be able to receive information about purchases, make orders, receive replies and plan their next moves on the site, said Orlov.

The Duma deputy also said that the web site should improve the tender system. "Contemporary technology should make the system of conducting contests and tenders more transparent."

The initiative of the mayor's office has taken the site's potential suppliers by surprise. Opinions range from skepticism to cautious optimism.

A similar electronic system will not change the existing conditions of trading in city goods, said Gleb Tikhomirov, the financial director of Skyuden, one of the largest suppliers of sugar on the Russian market.

"The mayor's administration probably already has an enormous client base. Moreover, everything will go through those people who process contracts right now," said Tikhomirov. He added that the site is completely pointless.

However, the company Eksima, which holds the title of "state supplier," said the project "could be interesting."

A representative of the company said "the relationship of enterprises in the Russian foodstuffs industry with the Internet has still not been studied carefully. Today, the Internet is used to a large extent as an information resource and not a professional [resource]."