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Alliance Legal CG defended the rights of entrepreneurs by preventing the creation of a dangerous judicial precedent
May 18, 2020

The automated information system "Kontingent" is the most large-scale IT project in the field of informatization of Russian education. The Government of the Vologda Region has received a subsidy to implement this project in the region. The "Avers" Information Technology Center, widely known in the industry, was chosen as the contractor.

However, the Vologda Regional Government did not use the subsidy for the development of the information society in the region in time, having returned it to the federal budget with the payment of a fine. In order to relieve itself of responsibility, the government agency filed a claim for recovery of losses in the amount of the applied measure of budgetary coercion against the contractor, who was accused of non-fulfillment of obligations to develop an automated system.

The court of first instance agreed with the Government of Vologda Region, having satisfied the claim in full. However, at the appeal stage the lawyers of Alliance Legal CG managed to cancel the court act, proving in higher instances that the contractor was not guilty of the failure of the Vologda Regional Government to fulfill its budget obligations. 

The court of appeal accepted the arguments that "Avers" was not to blame for the failure of the Vologda Region to meet its obligations to the Russian Federation, since "Avers" was not a part of the subsidy agreement and the Vologda Region itself had to take actions aimed at achieving the efficiency of the federal subsidy (e.g., in case of insoluble disputes, find a new contractor). The direct recipient of the subsidy should bear all responsibility for the late return of the unused subsidy to the federal budget. In other words, there was no direct causal link between the consequences and the contractor's actions. 

On May 12, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (Decision No. 305-ES20-6244) in this case put an end to it, without setting a vicious precedent for shifting the blame for the failure to implement federal subsidies from the state authorities to entrepreneurs.