The inefficiency, corruption and lack of accountability that afflict public administration in Russia impose substantial direct costs on both entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens. This paper examines the major weaknesses of Russia’s public administration and assesses the government’s recently revised programme of administrative reform. It lays particular stress on the relationship between public bureaucracies and the larger institutional environment within which they operate, as well as on the need for far greater transparency of public bodies and stronger non-judicial means of redress for citizens wishing to challenge bureaucratic decisions. Many of the problems of Russia’s public administration are aggravated by the fact that the Russian state often tries to do too much: the paper therefore explores the link between administrative reform and the scope of state ownership and regulation
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