On corruption of the draft federal budget for 2011-2013

On 21 September the Ministry of Finance of Russia in order to carry out anticorruption expertise posted draft federal law “On the Federal Budget for 2011 and for the planned period 2011 and 2013” with 30 September as a final date for submitting independent reviews.

From the very onset independent experts faced difficulties due to the fact that the authors of the draft law forgot both to provide an address where to send independent reviews and provide the draft law with notes which starting with 2008 allow to understand the budget in principle.

 Independent experts and journalists often, as can be seen from, let us say this article in daily “Vedomosti” simply don’t understand that they are demonstrated solely the so called open expenditures and a host of classified and top secret annexes with absolutely similar as open annexes expenditure lines remain under cover from the public.
We understand that even our Minister of Finance won’t be able to explain why one fourth (!) of the “Housing” expenditure line (over 42 bln Rb) remain classified. Classified or top secret remain 5% of expenditures in lines “Preschool education” and “Higher and postgraduate vocational education” as well as nearly 12% of sub-heading “Sanatorium and fitness treatment”. In case he nevertheless is able to explain it, then he is highly unlikely to provide rationale for 53.5% classified spending in sub-heading “Physical culture”.

Against this background increment in sensitive expenditures in sub-heading “Armed Forces of the Russian Federation” by 2.5 points and black-out of the federal budget by 1.7 points (which makes 300 bln “secret” Rb) do not raise questions – they are surely linked with national security… Or nevertheless with bureaucratic one?

The Russian government approved draft budget on 24 September without waiting for the outcome of anticorruption expertise promoted by the Ministry of Finance.

One can no matter how long engage in reducing the number of bureaucrats, but leaving them with their natural source of power – their secret, the country will each time be back at square one. All too many people in Russia don’t understand connection between federal budget opacity and flourishing corruption.

V.B. Zatsepin — Candidate of science (military), laboratory of defense economy