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Expert Council to be set up under Russia’s open government

July 06, 2012, 14:42 UTC+3

Russian citizens will be able to control state expenditures via the so-called “open electronic budget”

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MOSCOW, July 6 (Itar-Tass) —— An Expert Council will be set up within the so-called Russia’s “open government” and Russian citizens will be able to control state expenditures via the so-called “open electronic budget,” Russian minister for relations with the open government Mikhail Abyzov said on Friday at the World Media Summit.

“We plan to set up an expert council, which will be large enough to include into its competences key issues of the government agenda,” he said. In his words, this council will serve as a tool “to broaden cooperation between the government and parties concerned, the expert community and business associations.” “We believe such cooperation will help improve the quality of government decisions,” he noted.

According to the minister, efforts are now being taken to draft the open electronic budget project, both at the federal, regional, and municipal levels. This project will help make budgets “transparent and understandable for each citizen, starting from key areas of spending to operating costs on each official,” he said and added that such open electronic budgets will facilitate popular control over budgetary expenditures.

“Within a year, we also plan to realize pilot projects to change internet representation of state authorities and to elaborate standards and requirements to the information the state provides and to circulation of such information,” Abyzov noted. “It is vital to organize the state’s work in the Internet so that its information is both accessible and comprehensible.”

He also said that it was planned to soon launch a new system to assess the efficiency of executive authorities, which will be based “not only on statistics but on opinion polls, society assessments of the activity of power bodies, officials, administrators.”

The World Media Summit is held in Moscow on the initiative of Itar-Tass. It brought together an unprecedented number of participants – more than 300 top executives of 213 mass media from 103 world nations are taking part.

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