Medvedev demands more state transparency
Dmitry Medvedev told the Krasnayarsk Economic Forum on Friday that Russia needs to improve its government system on all levels as further progress was impossible without this. “This must be the enlargement of the volume of open data about the activities of authorities at all levels. This is the realization of the national plan of introducing the mechanisms of open state management and this is the constant public control in the sphere of state purchase and state investment,” Medvedev said in his speech. “It is important to not only analyze draft laws and government programs , but also to monitor the legal practice on the basis of opinions of people who represent various social groups, professional communities and regions,” the head of the government said.Russian authorities have uncovered a number of corrupt schemes with the help of ordinary people. This includes the previously widespread practice of deliberately altering data in state tenders published in the internetby replacing Cyrillic symbols with Latin and vice versa to make search impossible and to limit the number of bidders. Public control also made it possible to uncover large-scale graft in the Russian medical sector – it turned out that many officials were receiving kickbacks for the purchase of expensive MRT hardware for large medical centers. The corruption reached as high as the Healthcare Ministry and the Control Directorate of the Presidential Property Department and several top officials were detained during a 2010 probe. When Dmitry Medvedev, who was Russian President at that time, learned about the scandal he called the embezzlement “shameless theft” and ordered the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General’s Office to spare no effort in uncovering details of the scheme. Current Russian President Vladimir Putin told the press in mid-December that the ongoing anti-corruption campaign in Russia was not just for show, but was a continuing process that would end in prison terms for all those found guilty. Putin added that all state departments will be subject to anti-corruption probes.