Real Estate Agency Changes Approved

President Vladimir Putin has affirmed the structure and responsibilities of the Federal Agency for Registering Real Estate, the Kremlin said in a statement, Interfax reported last week.

According to the order, which was posted on the web site March 11, the agency may have as many as five deputy heads and 14 departments, the news agency said.

The announcement came on the same day that Justice Minister Vladimir Ustinov told the agency and the Federal Registration Service that they needed to drastically improve their work on registering real estate.

"Violations of the periods for processing requests, bureaucratic foot-dragging with paperwork, rudeness, incompetence, and any corruption are absolutely impermissible," Ustinov said in a ministry statement, adding that civil servants violating his orders would be held accountable. The agency has been without a head since Sergei Podobed was dismissed in January.