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Putin Nominates Aide to Head Russia's Audit Chamber

Presidential aide and former health minister Tatyana Golikova was nominated by President Vladimir Putin Monday to head Russia's Audit Chamber, the Kremlin said.

Golikova was selected by Putin from a pool of three candidates for the position that also included Sergei Stepashin, the Chamber's head since 2000, and Andrei Makarov, the head of the Duma's budget and tax commission and a television presenter.

In an interview with television channel Rossiya 24, Golikova said Monday that she was concerned about wasteful government spending, and that the Audit Chamber should not just oversee budget spending, but also participate in the formation of laws determining budget expenditure.

Putin also nominated Vera Chistova — the current head of Moscow city government's financial department — as deputy head of the Audit Chamber, the Kremlin said Monday.

A law passed in April ordered senior staff changes at the Audit Chamber, which has a mandate to oversee government expenditure, to take place before Oct. 1.

After four years working as health and social development minister, Golikova was made a presidential aide last year following Putin's election for a third presidential term. Prior to that she worked in the Finance Ministry, where she was deputy finance minister between 1999 and 2004. Her nomination to the head of the Audit Chamber was widely reported by Russian media in advance of the announcement Monday.

Golikova is the latest in a series of presidential aides, who served as government ministers while Putin was prime minister between 2008 and 2012, to leave the presidential administration for senior official positions. Elvira Nabiullina, a former economic development minister appointed as a presidential aide last year, became head of the Central Bank in June and Yury Trutnev, who was natural resources minister before becoming a presidential aide in 2012, was made the presidential envoy to the Far East last month.

The State Duma is required to approve Golikova's appointment before she officially takes up the position.

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