NEW STANDPOINT ON THE CORRELATION PROBLEM V.A. Sidorovich Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University The operator approach to the solution of the non-relativistic time- independent Schr\"odinger equation for many-body quantum system (V.A. Sidorovich, Physica Scripta, in press) is used for investigation of electron correlation in a few-electron atom. It is established that the electron-electron interaction inside an isolated configuration does not destroy the independent particle model and only the interconfiguration interaction potential in a few-electron atom may be considered as a proper correlation potential.