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    RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO FINISH FORMATION OF EXECUTIVE AUTHORITIES THIS MONTH

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    MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government is to finish the formation of the system and structure of federal executive authorities in April by approving provisions on ministries, services and agencies, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said at the cabinet session Thursday. After that, the work should be shifted to the regional and municipal levels.

    The task has been entrusted to the interdepartmental commission that will determine the functions of federal executive authorities.

    The reform of the government should substantially increase the responsibility of state official and the quality and effectiveness of their operation, said the premier. In his words, the draft suggestions are designed to raise the effectiveness of control bodies. "Our task was to make their operation understandable and transparent, so that the leaders at all levels would known the full scope of their responsibilities for the drafting and approval of decisions," Mr. Fradkov said.

    He also pointed out that diligent officials will not lose their jobs during the reform: "This is what I can say about the widespread belief that we reduce few jobs but retain bureaucrats by giving them new posts: This is not true. Those who work diligently, the responsible and skilled staff have nothing to fear."

    According to Mr. Fradkov, the government reform provides for "harsh solutions" expected to liquidate overlapping functions, slash excessive functions and shift them to proper management levels. The number of structural divisions and deputy ministers should be slashed in ministries, said the premier.

    He stressed that the suggestions moved for the consideration of the cabinet had been harmonized by the interdepartmental commission on the system and structure of federal executive authorities. Mr. Fradkov suggested that the commission should be headed by chief of the government staff Dmitry Kozak. So far, Vice-Premier Alexander Zhukov was the formal head of the commission, which was in practice supervised by Mr. Kozak, former first deputy chief of the Kremlin staff.

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