Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 71

In a nationwide radio address this morning, Russian president Boris Yeltsin announced a number of new measures to stamp out government corruption, which, he said, is the main reason for the state’s low standing in the public eye. (BBC World Service, April 10) As of May 1, Yeltsin said, there will be open and competitive bidding for all government goods and services. The existing system of "authorized banks," under which a charmed circle of private banks handles all federal budget accounts and can make profitable use of federal funds in transit, will be replaced by a system of open tenders. Yeltsin also promised an ethics code for civil servants and said all state employees will be required to declare their incomes and those of their families. Yeltsin has promised to crack down on corruption before, and he acknowledged today that the public may be skeptical about the latest measures. But, he said, the campaign is now in the hands of a new government team with the "power and political will" to see it through. This team is headed by First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov, who vowed when he joined the government last month to make the abolition of insider privileges one of his priorities.