Accountants checking the books for a Moscow-government project worth a quarter of City Hall's annual budget have found numerous violations.
The project is aimed at turning the capital into an information society by installing Wi-Fi points all over the city, computerization of all schools and sites of public importance, as well as launching a convenient e-government system.
The auditors, however, say that the program is not transparent enough: While more than $10 million (one-fourth of Moscow’s budget) for this project were spent on the program, there are still practically no results.
The scandal started when independent specialists reported that by the time the operating systems are installed around the city, it will be outdated. The government agreed with the experts, and is now launching an investigation into the case.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, upon coming to power, promised to alter the program of his predecessor by making it cheaper and more effective. However, in less than a year the new mayor also encountered harsh criticism from the government.
The money was allocated at making Moscow a hi-tech city of the future. The program comprised four major sections, among them development of IT in order to improve quality of life in the Russian capital, an improved management program for the city’s affairs, a revamped communications system and the development of new media and advertising in the capital.