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Ministry Invites Navalny Representatives to Join Expert Group

Representatives from Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption website RosPil have been invited by the Economic Development Ministry to join an expert committee established to address concerns over a new law that deals with the government procurement processes, a news report said Friday.

The law in question came into effect on Jan. 1 and has received much criticism from those involved in purchasing and procurement oversight, who are concerned about illegitimate contract fulfillment and extensive corruption.

Speaking at a press conference Friday,

A spokesman from the Economic Development Ministry told journalists on Friday that an expert group would be established to address any issues "unrelated to human factors" that the law had failed to address.

"Our first task is to improve confidence in the new law, and confidence is defined as follows: First, it should be clear how the law works … Second, it should be improved. Thirdly, it should be clear to participants how the regulations are being improved," the spokesman said, Vedomosti reported. RosPil has been invited to join the group, he added.

The RosPil project, launched by opposition leader Navalny in Dec. 2010, has sought to put corrupt government procurement practices in the spotlight by encouraging users to scrutinize official documentation posted online.

The expert group is slated to include members of the RosPil group will join representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby groups Delovaya Rossia, and OPORA Rossia. It is expected that a list of the named experts will be released in the near future.

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