Golikova Selected as Audit Chamber Chief

Former Health and Social Development Minister and current presidential aide Tatyana Golikova will become the new head of the Audit Chamber, Kommersant reported Friday, citing the chamber's outgoing chief of staff.

President Vladimir Putin has already signed the necessary order, and the appointment could be confirmed as early as the beginning of September.

The current head of the Audit Chamber Sergei Stepashin and chief of staff Sergei Shakhrai will leave their positions after the State Duma votes on the appointment. This vote could take place during the first plenary session of the fall season, scheduled for Sept. 10.

A new law prescribing the re-election of all Audit Chamber members went into effect in April 2013. Duma deputies gave the president a choice of three candidates for the head post of the watchdog that provides oversight of public spending. In addition to Golikova, the candidates included Stepashin and Andrei Makarov, head of the Duma committee on budgets and taxes.

Stepashin had the broadest support across the four parties represented in the Duma, but, in the end, Putin chose his aide for the job.

Golikova served as deputy finance minister from 1999 to 2007 and ran the Health and Social Development Ministry from 2007 to 2012. She is expected to bring on board someone from her own circle to be the Audit Chamber's chief of staff.

A source from the presidential administration confirmed the appointment.

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