Sergei Ivanov noted that local authorities have the closest contact with the public, and primarily pay attention to the situation in their cities, not to higher-ups’ political sympathies.
According to the Chief of Staff, Russians are first and foremost concerned about problems relating to housing and utilities: every sixth communication received by the Presidential Executive Office is a complaint about the quality of housing and utilities services. The situation in this field should be constantly monitored by every level of authorities, Mr Ivanov emphasised. Russia needs to improve its municipal services, using, among others, the ‘one window’ principle [designed to provide the public with one-stop access to municipal planning services, Ed.]. Information must also be widely available about legislative developments and development plans for specific areas and districts.
Sergei Ivanov also pointed out that the expertise of public associations, citizen advocacy organisations, socially-oriented NGOs and independent experts could be harnessed to increase the effectiveness of governance many times over.