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Medvedev opposes declaration of senior officials’ expenditures

November 21, 2011, 14:09 UTC+3

Medvedev called on tax collecting agencies to ensure tighter control over state employees’ revenues

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed doubt about efficiency of additional anti-corruption actions, for instance, the declaration of senior officials’ expenditures. The president made it clear that the measures he had proposed over the past several years will be sufficient to fight the evil. Medvedev, instead, called on tax collecting agencies to ensure tighter control over state employees’ revenues.

The president believes that the declarations of expenditures can be introduced for Russian senior officials, “but this should be done very carefully,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. In our conditions this mechanism “can turn either into a method of settling scores or into such a system that would itself provoke corruption: share with us, otherwise we will pursue you all your life for big expenditures.” Medvedev noted that there are no many countries in the world that control expenditures, while revenues are strictly regulated everywhere. And he stakes on this very procedure.

Novye Izvestiya reported that earlier the All-Russian Popular Front in its program, which although had not been approved at the United Russia congress, but was considered one of the party’s important documents announced the opposite. It proposed “to oblige civil servants to prove legality of not only revenues, but also expenditures of their own and their family members, if the considerable increase in assets cannot be justified by legal revenues.” Thus, it proposed to ratify Article 20 on illicit enrichment of the UN Convention Against Corruption, the daily explained.

The director-general of the Centre for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, believes that the president’s refusal to introduce the declaration of expenditures is explained by the fact that he burnt his fingers on his high-speed attempts to fight corruption. “If the authorities want to really combat corruption, it is necessary to introduce the declaration of expenditures, if they plan to confine themselves to simulation, everything can be left as it is,” the expert said.

The director of the Institute of Globalization Problems, Mikhail Delyagin, underlined that the fight against corruption should begin from the control over expenditures, while any arguments in favour of escaping this measure he considers unconvincing. “To settle scores with someone, any legal document, including the Criminal Code, can be used, while the score-settling with corrupt officials is called as observance of the criminal legislation,” he said.

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