MOSCOW, January 13 (KATAKAMI.COM / Itar-Tass) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave three months to the Federal Tax Service and the Prosecutor General’s Office to check the authenticity of income declarations submitted by officials.
“I give you three months, so that we know, who violates what, by the end of the declaration campaign,” the head of state stated at a meeting of the Council for Countering Corruption on Thursday.
Medvedev underlined that he was awaiting proposals on responsibility for unauthentic information in income declarations.
In this connection, Medvedev drew attention to income declarations of Moscow-based officials. “Sergei Semyonovich, there’re many officials in Moscow,” he said addressing city mayor Sobyanin.
In his opinion, the mandatory filling in of an income declaration is a good tradition, because it disciplines a person, making him realize there the declared income should be consistent with real sources of earnings.
At the same time, the president acknowledged that the declaration system is imperfect and that a wealth of methods are available to hide incomes from declaration.
“It’s not bad as the fist move, because everybody now understands that declaration is a must as elsewhere in the world,” he said.
Not only government bodies should check the authenticity of information (the State Tax Service and other bodies), but also a high element of public control must be present. “Public organizations, such as the Public Chamber should vigorously use their opportunities for public control over officials’ incomes,” Medvedev went on to say.
He warned that this should not become “a witch hunt,” or be exploited as a method to “square political accounts.”
“So let the presidential administration think in 2011 about officials’ income declarations by analysing the work done, and mull the effectiveness of the whole system of giving such information,” Medvedev said.
The income declaration system must be perfected: if it has loopholes, they should be eliminated to make headway. (*)