Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of YABLOKO’s parliamentary faction in St.Petersburg, introduced his amendments to the Rules of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. These amendments are targeted at improving the transparency of the Committee, as well as enhancing control over the budget planning. According to Yavlinsky, adoption of these amendments would reduce abuse in the field of public funds.
"We need to qualitatively change our approach to the [city] budget. The whole process should be modern and transparent. Only in this case it is possible to reduce corruption," Yavlinsky said. He proposed to the city MPs to publish the agenda of the Committee and all the relevant documents at the web-site of the Legislative Assembly. Also he noted that the agenda of the Committee should be approved in advance.
"It is unacceptable that the documents on such important issues are handed to the Committee members several minutes before the vote. The present order makes it impossible to analyse the correctness of the calculations. Budgetary control is the most important function of MPs, at it is hardly realised today,” he stressed.
"[At present] most of St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly MPs vote for the budget without its detailed analysis or control over expenditures, being satisfied by redistribution of less than one per cent of the budget for their own goals within the frameworks of the Committee. It resembles an exchange of services: MPs do not control the budget, and the officials allow them to spend 0.5 per cent of the budget at their discretion. This is a pattern of political corruption," Yavlinsky said.
He also recollected how the MPs approved the budget for 2013.
"Despite the fact that during the review of the entire document, it was clear that the budget was non-transparent, inefficient and would not be implemented again, the MPs even did not bother to find out why almost half of the planned expenditures was not been spent in the first nine months of 2012: why schools, hospitals and other social facilities were not built..., all that St.Petersburg government promised to do but did not do! Consequently, 38 deputies simply press the buttons "for" the budget without thinking about it. And the next day investigators from Moscow come to the Committee on Energy, conduct investigation, searches and make arrests. This had to happen one day. And I do not rule out that this is only the beginning," Yavlinsky noted.
Grigory Yavlinsky managed to overcome the resistance of the members of the Finance and Budget Committee of the Legislative Assembly from the United Russia and LDPR factions. The Committee adopted a decision to create a working group for examination of Grigory Yavlinsky’s amendments.
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