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MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the country’s Audit Chamber should play a greater role in the country’s budget process and exercise tight control over state expenditures now that the government was allocating funds to support domestic business and the national economy.
"The success of our joint efforts considerably depends on how work is organized in regions," Putin said at an enlarged board meeting of the Audit Chamber.
The Audit Chamber should pay special attention to the situation in Russian regions, Putin said.
"First of all, we need to establish prompt control over the administration of regional budgets. This relates to the use of federal support funds and the level of regional debt," Putin said.
The Russian president also urged the Audit Chamber to work closer with the All-Russian People’s Front public movement and other public organizations for control over state purchases, which have not yet become efficient, he said.
"We need to admit that, unfortunately, efforts have failed to economize considerably on funds allocated for state purchases. Contrary to common sense and economic realities, some government and municipal structures continue buying goods at clearly overstated and inadequate prices, pushing domestic producers away from contracts and spending state funds on luxury items," the Russian president said.
Putin asked the Audit Chamber to tighten control over state purchases, including purchase made by state corporations and companies with state stakes.
The Russian president also said the Audit Chamber should revisit state programs to analyze if they matched the country’s strategic goals.
"The Audit Chamber should one again analyze state programs to see how much their parameters match our strategic goals and how accurately priorities are set in these programs and if there are reserves that can be channeled into development," Putin said.
The report prepared for the Audit Chamber’s board meeting said the country’s top audit authority had exposed violations worth almost 490 billion rubles (about $7 billion at the current exchange rate) last year.
Violations in the sphere of budget spending were estimated at 394.3 billion rubles ($5.8 billion), the report said.
The largest volume of violations exposed by the Audit Chamber last year was registered in the Federal Forestry Agency (over 18.5% or almost a fifth of all audited funds at the Agency) , the Federal Water Resources Agency (almost 18%), the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostekhnadzor) (over 16%), the Energy Ministry (over 15%) and the Federal Communications Agency (over 12%).