The meeting was held in a videoconference format.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon,
We are holding this videoconference today to discuss the implementation of Presidential instructions. I will say a few words at the beginning and then we can proceed with our discussion.
We have several items on our agenda today: we will consider ways to develop the housing and utilities sector and to improve the state purchasing system. We will return to purchasing issues a little later but first I would like to focus on housing and utilities, a subject that has special social importance. I have held a number of meetings on this subject in the past few weeks; last week there was a State Council Presidium meeting in Naryan-Mar, where we discussed the systemic problems of the sector’s modernisation. Overall, the main decisions have been taken and now we need to discuss practical steps.
We must focus on the law enforcement component, by which I mean the drive against corruption in the housing and utilities sector. Let me remind you that I have heard almost all governors say at our meetings that there are a number of systemic legal issues as well as problems related to crimes in the housing and utilities sector.
I have issued instructions to conduct by December 1 a comprehensive review of housing and utilities organisations’ financial operations for the past years, specifically for the period from 2009 to 2011. I have also ordered an audit of the biggest organisations and management companies, regarding which there has been a large number of complaints. I would like the department heads who participated in the audit to report on the preliminary results.
We will also review the implementation of instructions regarding the efficient spending of funds allocated for state purchasing. I will remind you that I issued instructions to take a number of supervisory and investigative measures in order to identify various criminal schemes and instances of embezzlement. Their goal is to reduce the level of corruption in this area and try to establish an effective screening mechanism to monitor the transfer of money out of the country.
I would also like to hear the reports from those responsible for the implementation of the instructions. I will just say one more thing before we get to work: all these crimes, such as embezzlement, bribery and unreasonable increases in prices and tariffs, are only possible in the absence of adequate controls and the lack of efficient market mechanisms in this field. This applies to both housing and utilities sector and state purchasing.
We must strive to create an efficient and transparent system for providing housing and utilities services and to create a modern state purchasing system, which will exclude the possibility of any kind of contractual tenders and bids.
This is a difficult job because as soon as measures are put in place to block criminal schemes, new ones appear in their place – our people are highly resourceful. Nevertheless, we must create new legal mechanisms and put an end to the existing loopholes. Tenders must also be conducted on the basis of competition, where those who offer cheaper and better goods or services win.
I look forward to your reports regarding progress made on the draft federal law on the federal contract system. These instructions were issued a long time ago and the deadlines have already passed. I would like to hear about the main approaches to the organisation of electronic trading. On the basis of this discussion, I will adopt the final decision on the future of the draft law. I know that the Government has been working on it and time has come to complete it. Let's get to work.