Sergey Stepashin knows the way of eradicating corruption in Russia

But in reality, there seems to be no way to stop business of corrupted officials.
About a century ago Lenin said that calculation and control are of primary importance for proletarian revolution. Yet they are important for other spheres of human life. Auditing Chamber of the Russian Federation is the key state controlling institution. In addition to controlling the budget spending, the Chamber is conducting privatization deals auditing. After the Chamber completes this work, the Russian Office of Public prosecutor will probably know which tycoons should be imprisoned and which of them can be allowed to leave for London to share Boris Berezovsky's company.

Auditing Chamber Chairman Sergey Stepashin considers auditing privatization deals to be the key aspect of the Chamber’s work. In his speech at VI conference of Association of Controlling and Auditing Institutions of Russia Sergey Stepashin called cooperation of auditing institutions with law-enforcers “very effective”. According to Stepashin, in 2003 after examinations conducted by auditing institutions, law-enforcers started 240 investigations of criminal cases. And this is just a beginning.

“If we want to built effective democratic state based on the rule of law and want to eradicate corruption in Russia, we need thoroughly elaborated laws and strict observance of them”, said Stepashin.

At the conference Sergey Stepashin named the main task for controlling and auditing institutions. According to him, they are required to detect as many law infringements related to finance, and work on reducing their number, maintain ideal order in managing public finance and material resources, prevent budget money losses on the stage of budget planning.
Nobody argues that corruption penetrated all spheres of Russian society, and fighting corruption is the primary task for Russian authorities. The scale of corruption in Russia is so huge that the police have to detect corrupted policemen more and more often.

Even Russian government was troubled much with corruption when the State Duma deputies sponsored by oligarchs did not allowed the government neither to regulate export duties for oil and oil products nor to abolish special “tolling” customs regime from which aluminum industry is benefiting and the state budget is losing billions of dollars every year. The authorities could mitigate these problems – after imprisoning oil tycoons Khodorkovsky and Lebedev oil tycoons influence in Russian legislature became weaker. However, there may be thousands of similar individual cases of corruption in Russia, and by stopping them the state inevitably violates the interest of certain groups (which are parts of the state structure). What should the authorities do?

Certainly, the Auditing Chamber auditors detected some cases of corruption. But how many? 240 criminal investigations is a scanty small number for so corruption-driven country as Russia. Even 240 thousand criminal cases would not be enough.

One can understand the desire of Sergey Stepashin to make society more honest and law-abiding. Still, it is hard to imagine how the Auditing Chamber (even in alliance with law-enforcers) can eradicate corruption in Russia.

Today there is no solution to the problem of corruption. Officials get scanty salaries, but even if their salaries increase many-fold, corruption will not disappear. It is not money which matters. Every official is a member of some clan. He/she became the official because the clan found this job for him/her and was promoting this person. Different clans of officials compete between each other.  The most elaborated and transparent law has different consequences for the officials of my clan and competing clans. My clan officials deserve better benefits than others just because this clan is a source of my life, career and well-being.

This type of relations applies to other social groups in Russia. Even at the most transparent Russian business, dominating clan of shareholders (friends since childhood) receiving benefits hurting minor shareholders and taking over the weakest competitors. Not everybody can enjoy with the benefits of victory, only those holding dominating positions.

Nepotism is the basis of human society. Through the course of history, one’s people helped each other and offended strangers. This will continue until doomsday when both society and human history will cease to exist. I am afraid that Sergey Stepashin does not know how to fight human’s basic instincts. Neither Auditing Chamber nor law-enforcers are able to do this.

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Author`s name Andrey Mikhailov