Russia Targets ’Vicious Circle’ of Red Tape With $1,000 Fines

By Ilya Arkhipov – BLOOMBERG
Russian officials who don’t respond adequately to complaints from citizens may face fines of as much as 30,000 rubles ($1,080), part of efforts to reign in bureaucracy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
Russians will be able to challenge federal and local government decisions under a new administrative complaints procedure, Putin told a government meeting in Moscow today. Officials who fail to review complaints within 10 days or refuse to register legitimate grievances may be fined.
“Complaints often go to the very agencies people are complaining about,” Putin said. “We need to break this vicious circle.”
President Dmitry Medvedev has made tackling graft and bureaucracy key goals in a country that ranked 154th of 178 nations in Berlin-based Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index. Last month he approved plans to help stem corruption by improving citizens’ understanding of the law.