Aleksei Kudrin: national goals can be achieved, but additional measures are needed
2018 was in a lot of ways a breakthrough year for the Accounts Chamber; the Development Strategy was adopted, new goals and tasks were set, major activity areas were identified for the next six years, the powers of the agency were siginificantly broadened, said the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Aleksei Kudrin while presenting a report on the work of the agency in 2018 to the Federation Council.
‘We believe that 2018 was a year when we adjusted ourselves to new goals and tasks, including the monitoring of national projects. We focus on the development of ideas and solutions that will improve public governance, and also promote the achievement of national goals,’ the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber said.
Mr Kudrin added that in 2018 the Accounts Chamber had changed its approach to the indicators of its efficiency. ‘A year ago I said that if we worked well, the number of budgetary legislation violations would decrease. In other words we should support better regulation and planning that will help to reduce the number of violations by means of prevention. Without any doubt, this goal cannot be achieved in a year. But as a result, by introducing digital methods and distance audit we want to prevent major violations,’ he said.
As for quantitative results, in 2018 the Accounts Chamber conducted 419 audits (11,000 entities) and detected violations for the amount of 772 billion rubles and returned 7.3 billion rubles to the budget. ‘Now we treat the recovery of grants and subsidies from subjects more carefully,’ said Mr Kudrin, explaining the reduction of the funds returned to the budget. ‘When we request the return of subsidies, we punish not only the management but also people. This is why we will be more careful from now on. We will focus more on administrative sanctions.’
Mr Kudrin also described the results of major work on monitoring national projects that had been undertaken by the Accounts Chamber in 2018. The agency focuses primarily on problems in the regions. ‘When we were conducting the monitoring, we saw that the tasks assigned to the subjects of the Russian Federation did not always have the resources necessary for the established goals. The assessment of the resources necessary to implement national projects and that should be acquired by the subjects themselves has not been done yet. We can't just leave a subject to deal with this problem, we should look for the resources together,' Mr Kudrin said.
The head of the audit agency added that despite all difficulties encountered during the implementation of the national projects, the Accounts Chamber did not think that the established goals could not be achieved. ‘If we take additional measures, we could reach them and we want them to be attained. This is why when we say that there are some "risks of non-achievement", what we really want to say is that it is necessary to improve the situation so that the goals can be achieved,’ he underscored.