President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: As I said I would, a few days ago I submitted to the State Duma a package of laws on fighting corruption. Your faction in the Duma is influential. I hope that you will play an active part in discussing these draft laws, which are extremely important for our country. I hope that you will make your proposals and simply take an active part in the discussions.
chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Yes, we were expecting this package. We remember your decree of August 1, and the Duma has been working for many years now on organising an anti-corruption commission. We have examined many laws to assess their potential for corruption loopholes. It can be enough to make some small change to a sentence, for example, the difference between saying a service ‘is provided’ or ‘may be provided’, and just using the conditional mood is enough to create a loophole for bureaucrats…
Dmitry Medvedev: Lawyers speak of the dispositive nature of this or that wording. In other words, it can be used as one sees fit.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky: It will be our pleasure to take part in the discussions and we will definitely adopt the accelerated procedure, because usually it can take a law two or three months to go through the first, second and third reading, while here it will all take place much faster. Of course, the deputies have experience. They have all worked in various organisations. This will reduce possibilities for corruption with measures on the role of civil servants, documents, property declarations and issues regarding confiscation. Of course, the technology has to be in place. Many agencies already have this system that tracks documents’ entry and movement and makes it possible for the heads to see the state of documents’ progress and where they are being held up.
Dmitry Medvedev: Ideally, everything would be done electronically, because the more paperwork there is, the more opportunities there are to ask for money on the way.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Yes, everything is clear immediately when you have a data base tracking the documents. There needs to be this control over documents’ progress, and then we will be able to ensure that money does not become available in cases when matters are being held up for too long.