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MOSCOW, March 23 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was participating in the Thursday meeting of the working group to form an open government system. The meeting was devoted to the development of recommendations on the struggle against corruption. The president supported more than 20 initiatives of experts. A special body can be created in the Prosecutor General’s Office to combat corruption in Russia.
Dmitry Medvedev had the second meeting with experts of the working group formed under his decree that is forming an open government system and is drafting proposals to make the work of the whole state administration system more efficient, the Kommersant daily writes. The initiatives of the working group on ten guidelines of the state policy should be submitted by April 15. However, Dmitry Medvedev decided to note three basic problems, which are common for all ten guidelines, namely human resources, corruption and competition.
The working group has drafted a broad anti-corruption report by the meeting with the detailed description of corruption problems and recommendations. They were divided in five sections, particularly a lower state interference in the economy, the struggle against major corruption, a lower corruption level in state purchases, a lower household corruption level and the formation of efficient instruments of public control.
The most unexpected initiatives were made during the debates on the section devoted to the struggle against major corruption. Director for macroeconomic studies of the Higher School of Economics Sergei Aleksashenko, who presented this scope of problems, offered to create a special federal body on the struggle against corruption following the example of several countries that will be a bureau for the struggle against corruption, which pools the efforts of the state authorities and the civil society in the struggle against corruption. The special federal prosecutor was offered to head the bureau that will be vested with sweeping powers, including the exposure of corruption schemes in all Russia, the survey of the declarations of public servants and signals from the public, the suspension of officials suspected of corruption and the establishment of international cooperation, particularly to search for the assets of suspected corrupt officials abroad.
Dmitry Medvedev supported the idea, but not in the way of the federal agency. “If to create something, this should be done in the structure of the current system of law enforcement agencies. The creation of something alien will turn in an unviable structure or a bureau to settle the scores between various clans and groups,” he elaborated.
Dmitry Medvedev decided to combat corruption as long as he took the post of the president, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily recalled. In 2008 Russia has developed the national plan for counteraction to corruption, the legal basis has been built up consistently for the last few years. The result is probably not quite perfect as someone wanted it to be. Anyway, Russia is next to Zimbabwe and Guinea in international ratings on the corruption level.
Dmitry Medvedev heard a report on corruption, which the working group to form an open government had drafted, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported. According to the authors of the report, kickbacks in Russia range between one and two percent of GDP in running a business and public services. For comparison, this is approximately the deficit of the Russian Pension Fund. Medvedev believes that bribers are guilty along with extortionists. The experts consider the situation as a deadlock, as other ways to solve the problems and independent courts lack in the country.
The corruption situation in Russia during Medvedev’s presidency did not change, a member of the committee for investments of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurship Anton Danilov-Danilyan told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta. He believes that the decision-making by officials should be arranged in the way so that they will not have any opportunities for corruption schemes.
Meanwhile, he approves of Medvedev’s initiatives. However, Danilov-Danilyan regrets that “the business is quite passive, as they should be carried to the extreme so that they begin to complain.” Russian business prefers to settle the problems in the corruption ways, the experts acknowledged.