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The expenses of state officials remain in secret

July 19, 2013, 10:19 UTC+3
The deadline of filing declarations was July 1
Material has 1 page

On Thursday, a declaration campaign ended in Russia. The campaign of declarations was special this year, as the state officials had to report not only about their incomes, but also expenses. The deadline of filing declarations was July 1.

It was not quite clear before the beginning of July, when and how the data about the expenses, which exceed a 3-year family income, should be made public. But President Vladimir Putin specified in his decree on July 8 that they should be posted on the websites of the agencies and organizations within 14 workdays after the end of the declaration reporting period.

An official of the Labour Ministry explained to the Vedomosti daily that all state officials, who make public the data of their incomes, should make public the data of their expenses at the official websites. The Labour Ministry is instructed to monitor the fulfilment of the presidential decrees.

The Vedomosti survey showed that only two federal agencies - the Central Bank and the Labour Ministry made public this data, but in an unclear form. The Labour Ministry made public the data about nine state officials, who made the purchases, and reported the sources of incomes they named. The overwhelming majority of the state officials of the Labour Ministry named the subsidies for housing purchase as such sources. However, it is unclear from the published declarations in most cases what property in particular from the declared property they purchased. The sums of the expenses were not mentioned as well.

Meanwhile, the July 8 decree did not say anything about the need to make public the metric area, geographical position of the flats, the brands of cars and the sums of expenses. According to the decree, “the data about the sources of getting the monetary funds, from which the purchase was made to buy a land plot, other pieces of real estate, a transport vehicle, securities and shares” should be posted on the official websites.

The overwhelming majority of the state-run agencies did not make public the data about the expenses. Some agencies and structures stated that they are unaware how they should report about their expenses and other agencies stated that such state officials were not found. Officials of the Transport Ministry and the Ministry of Natural Resources told the Vedomosti daily that the state officials, the expenses of whom exceed the incomes, were not found, therefore, nothing can be made public. The Defence Ministry and the Interior Ministry failed to answer the questions, why this data was not made public. Representatives of the Culture Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry stated that they are waiting for the explanations in what form this data should be made public. The Health Ministry and the Ministry of Regional Development, which did not post the information about the expenses on their websites, demanded a request from the Vedomosti daily.

The Gazprom press service did not answer the Vedomosti question why the information about the expenses of the top managers is not made public.

People with the expenses, which require declaring, were not found among the state officials in the Moscow Region, an official of the regional authorities said. Such state officials were found in the St. Petersburg authorities in several committees, namely the housing committee, the committees on press, industrial policy and innovations. However, only the name of the purchase (a flat or a land plot) without any information about it was made public as well.

In the view of Assistant Professor of the Higher School of Economics Pavel Kudyukin, the expense declaring is passing with such difficulties, because probably there are some elements of sabotage, as the state officials are taking a wait-and-see policy whether they will be forced or not to make public this unpleasant data for them.

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