30 Aug 2018 11:23

Kudrin speaks of state funding theft in Russia, corruption prevention

MOSCOW. Aug 30 (Interfax) - Societal opinion on rampant theft of state resources in Russia is justified, Alexei Kudrin, the head of the Audit Chamber and chairman of the Center for Strategic Development, said.

"People are confident that state funding theft is widespread. This opinion, unfortunately, is justified," Kudrin said in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant on Thursday.

If society believes that "state resources are squandered and stolen," it is a flaw, including on the part of the Audit Chamber, he said. "This means we could not create those control institutions, both public and state, that limit theft," he said.

There are many reasons for this situation, including due to the absence in the state of some political and national institutions, Kudrin said.

"Everything, including freedom of speech, political competition, and real accountability of bodies of authority to their voters, should promote the fight against corruption," Kudrin said.

"We have still not learned to work with state contract prices in a real way, although we have been doing it for twenty years," he said.

"The most complex and the most corrupt sphere is state procurement contracts, he said.

"From the point of a risk-oriented approach in public administration, one should start form that. The Audit Chamber already has this understanding, it was reaffirmed in a strategic session," he said.

"We currently have a good situation with the publicity of data on state procurement contracts, but a bad situation with the systemic analysis of the events that are taking place," Kudrin said.

"Society finally needs to see who buys what in the state and at what price. All these public data need to be processed, analyzed, modern applications need to be made, which will make it easy for the general public to understand what is happening," he said.

Kudrin said he had analyzed state procurement contracts with his colleagues in the Committee of Civil Initiatives, which promotes such programs.

"We can do it professionally here, for the good of all people, 'using our position'," Kudrin said.

Kudrin was appointed by the State Duma head of the Audit Chamber on May 22.