Let me break it down , there's two possible reasons.
One , as other readers have suggested , the article might be purposely omitting various facts or mixing up total cost of ownership with purchase value.
Two , it's not that the buyers were stupid , they might be to some extent (not knowing the market well enough to shop around for the best deal) but that doesn't cover such a deep discrepancy.
Most often than not , at least in the ex soviet block , these things are done to take money away from the institution. The buyers just agree with the sellers to up the cost dramatically and get a part of that money back as incentive to do it. And these things happen ALL THE TIME , in all corners of all public institutions. That's why these states are doing so poorly , budget wise. It's called corruption.
This may come as a shocker to you if you were brought up in some place where these are not common day activities. Criminal penalties should be enforced against such wrongdoers.
I can not emphasise enough , this is the kind of stuff that brings a nation down , one expensive toilet seat at a time.