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Soviet Union

Committees of People's Control

The 1979 Law on People's Control established the committees of people's control in each republic under the supervision of the central Committee of People's Control. These committees had the authority to audit government and economic administration records. Officials found guilty of illegalities could be publicly reprimanded, fined for damages, or referred to the procurator for prosecution. In the late 1980s, the committees of people's control had been an invaluable instrument in Gorbachev's efforts at reform and restructuring.

The committees of people's control extended throughout the Soviet Union. In 1989, of the more than 10 million citizens who served on these organs, 95 percent were volunteers. General meetings of work collectives at every enterprise and office elected the committees for tenures of two and one-half years. The chairman of the Committee of People's Control and a professional staff served for five years. The chairman sat on the Council of Ministers (see Administrative Organs , this ch.).

Data as of May 1989