President Medvedev Says Russia Should Join OGP

6 February 2012

Russian President President Dmitry Medvedev Feb. 6 suggested that Russia should consider joining the Open Government Partnership, according to a Russian media report.

“I believe it stands to reason for us to consider participation in this [initiative],” Medvedev said, according to the RioNovosti story.

“Let’s look into it,” he said.

Medvedev said at the same meeting of his supporters that he will soon submit a legislation to require state officials to declare major expenses as a way to fight corruption.

The multilateral OGP effort now includes 52 of the 79 eligible countries.

(For all previous articles on the OGP, see here.)

According to a transcript, Medvedev said:

We are now working on putting the Open Government into place. The Presidential Executive Office and the Government are both working on this, independently of whatever changes might take place in their organisation. I will sign a special order this week setting up a working group on the Open Government project under the direction of Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office [Sergei Ivanov].

The working group’s task will be to set out the Open Government’s work principles and coordinate them with the Government’s work priorities. Of course, for the whole idea to be implemented, as we realise, the corresponding legal framework will have to be put in place too.

Another interesting idea that we can discuss is the international initiative Open Government Partnership. This initiative’s aim is to fight corruption and ensure transparent government, get the public involved in this work, improve the quality of public services, and make management of state resources more effective. The partnership was set up at several countries’ initiative. I think we should discuss the possibility of our taking part too because this could be of interest for Russia. That is a brief list of issues to go on with for now.

The president also pointed out several efforts to collect public suggestions online.

I am pleased to see that the website ????????????????????.?? [big government] is now up and running and has already received more than 3,000 proposals. I hope they will all be thoroughly analysed. 

Other interesting resources have appeared too now. One of them we announced at the Commission for Modernisation [and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy] meeting. I am referring to the site ????????????????.?? [Russia without idiots], which has already drawn 2 million responses and had more than 2 million visitors over these last few weeks.

Of course, it is important that this site not just collect stories of stupidity but also serve as a tool to ensure that this stupidity becomes a thing of the past, or that we at least minimise these cases and make them public, because when they become public knowledge civil servants themselves can take action to fix the situation in many instances.

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