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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 September 2007, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Russian mayor bans excuse making
Map of Russia showing Megion
The mayor of a city in Russia has issued a list of excuses that he will not tolerate from civil servants.

Alexander Kuzmin, mayor of Megion in western Siberia, said that officials must stop using phrases such as "I don't know" and "it's lunch time".

Mr Kuzmin said city officials should help improve people's lives and solve their problems, not make excuses.

The mayor's press office said the list consists of 27 forbidden phrases, including "there's no money".

What am I supposed to do?
I'm not dealing with this
We're having lunch
The working day is over
Somebody else has the documents
I think I was off sick at the time

Mr Kuzmin warned in a statement that "the use of these expressions by city administration officials while speaking to the head of the city will speed their departure."

He said he was taking action as he was tired of civil servants telling him that problems were impossible to solve, rather than offering practical solutions.

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