The current government procurement law has put theaters, museums, exhibition halls, libraries and other cultural institutions in a difficult position. Experts believe that if in the near future no changes are made to the document, then soon many establishments will stop working altogether.
Now, according to the normative legal act, everything necessary for updating the repertoire, making stage clothes, producing music and directing activities must be purchased through tenders, and the money earned must go to the republican budget and cannot be used directly for the development of state cultural institutions.
“The problem with the implementation of the 2015 public procurement law is that the document in no way takes into account the specifics of the work, for example, of theaters,” explained Alexander Kulinsky, a lawyer at the Chingiz Aitmatov Russian Drama Theater. - As a result, it turns out that today we cannot attract foreigners to work - to invite famous artists or eminent directors to stage performances. Their services are expensive, we are ready to pay, but the law obliges to give preference to local specialists. Yes, their work is appreciated less, but it is also of lower quality.
In addition, according to Alexander Kulinsky, the need for foreigners to comply with such requirements as obtaining an identification number, registering with the tax service and on the public procurement website to participate in the tender raises questions.
- This should be done, for example, by a foreign director before staging a play. Does he need to waste his precious time and nerves on this? - the lawyer asks.
But if these requirements are ignored, then there will be problems with law enforcement agencies.
- The essence of the current law on public procurement is that government agencies of Kyrgyzstan must buy cheap, often not of high quality, and even through tenders, - said Alexander Kulinsky. - If, for example, a museum decides to purchase a painting to replenish the museum fund, then a tender should be announced. But will the owner of a rare thing want to participate in it?
According to the majority of heads of cultural institutions of the republic, the law passed six years ago played a cruel joke on them. Moreover, the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic has repeatedly informed the government of the current difficult situation. However, due to the frequent change of the Cabinet of Ministers, this issue has not yet been resolved.
Today, the Ministry of Culture of the Kyrgyz Republic operates 22 theater and entertainment institutions, eight music and drama theaters, seven drama theaters, an opera and ballet theater, two puppet theaters, three philharmonic societies and a circus. They resumed work on December 1, 2020, taking into account the sanitary and epidemiological requirements.