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Moscow Times
May 27, 2009
Cops Will Have to Declare Income to Bosses
By Natalya Krainova / The Moscow Times

Taking a cue from President Dmitry Medvedev's transparency drive, a senior Interior Ministry official said Wednesday that rank-and-file police officers widely seen as the country's most corrupt public servants will be required to show their tax declarations to their bosses.

Beginning next year, all police officers will be required to present their tax declarations to their superiors, including information about the income and assets of their spouses and underage children, Vladimir Kikot, head of the ministry's personnel department, told Interfax.

It was not immediately clear whether the declarations would be made public like those of senior government officials, who, under a decree signed by Medvedev this month, are required to publish their earnings.

The police officers' declarations "may be presented to the media as envisaged by law," Kikot said cryptically without elaborating.

Repeated calls to the Interior Ministry's personnel department and the ministry's press office went unanswered Wednesday.

Officers who fail to present their tax declaration, or who provide false or incomplete information, may be fired or subject to other punishments, Kikot told Interfax.

Public opinion polls consistently show the police force as one of the country's least trusted institutions, and senior law enforcement and government officials concede that corruption is rampant among the country's police.

As part of his anti-corruption campaign, Medvedev has signed a number of decrees this year ordering certain senior officials to publish information about their incomes and property. One such decree requires the tax declarations to be published on government web sites or released to journalists within one week of an official request.

The president, prime minister and Cabinet members are now required to submit their declarations no later than April 1, while other officials must follow suit before April 30.

This year, many senior officials, including Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, voluntarily released their tax declarations to the public, though they are required by law to do so beginning only next year.