On April 19, 2000, the State Duma appointed one of the
leaders of the Yabloko faction and Chairman for the Anti-Corruption
Committee, Sergei Stepashin, as Chairman of the Audit Chamber.
This decision was approved by 309 deputies of the Duma:
29 deputies voted against and 10 abstained. At the same
time the State Duma released Khachim Karmokov from the post
of the Chairman of the Audit Chamber, as his term had expired.
In a speech at the meeting of the Duma, Sergei Stepashin
noted that he personally dislikes the discussion" which
had evolved over the release of Karmokov. Sergei Stepashin
characterised the latter as a top professional and said
that he had always reached understanding with Karmokov,
when head of the government and previously head of the Interior
In turn Khachim Karmokov called Sergei Stepashin a "worthy
successor" and appealed on the left majority of the Duma
to support the candidacy of Sergei Stepashin. Sergei Stepashin
told the deputies of his views on ways of enhancing the
efficiency of the work of the Audit Chamber.
He noted that in the future the Audit Chamber must become
the main body of financial control over the expenditure
of budget funds and the fight with corruption. He also stressed
that the Audit Chamber should establish constant interaction
with the President, the chambers of the Federal Assembly
(Ed. the parliament) and the government, something it had
failed to do in the past.
Sergei Stepashin also said that he had discussed this
issue with the President-elect Vladimir Putin. The new Chairman
of the Audit Chamber plans to focus on drafting the methodology
and criteria for rating the efficiency of the Audit Chamber.
In particular, he noted that this should be achieved by
making changes to legislation targeted at raising the responsibility
and expanding the competence of the Audit Chamber.
Sergei Stepashin also stressed that he would relieve the
work of the Accounting Chamber of its redundant politicisation.
Sergei Stepashin also said that it was necessary "to refrain
from abusing the auditing process" and stressed that in
the past different lobbyists had tried to exploit the Audit
Chamber to achieve their goals.
The Audit Chamber is a state financial control authority
formed by the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
and is accountable to the assembly. The main task of this
body is to organise and ensure control over the timely implementation
of the revenues and expenditure items of the federal budget
and the budgets of federal extra-budgetary funds.
The controlling jurisdiction of the Audit Chamber spreads
to all the state bodies (including their administrative
bodies) and institutions of Russia and federal extra-budgetary
funds. The Chairman of the Audit Chamber is appointed by
the State Duma for a six-year term.
The Chairman of the Audit Chamber cannot be a Deputy of
the State Duma, a member of the government or engage in
other paid work except for teaching or research.
Based on Interfax reports.