May 18, 2009
On Implementing National Anti-Corruption Plan Measures
The Executive Office of the President of the Russian Federation is monitoring the implementation of National Anti-Corruption Plan measures. An analysis showed that as of April 20, 2009, measures are being implemented according to the planned guidelines.
The President signed executive orders specifying the list of civil servants required to file public annual declarations of their incomes and properties, the procedures for filing such declarations to tax authorities or appropriate federal government agencyís personnel department, and the procedures for providing these declarations to national media for publication.
The Anti-Corruption Council Board meeting on April 7, 2009 approved the framework for the presidential executive order specifying the income and property declarations verification procedures and the mechanism of collaboration between law enforcement agencies and federal agenciesí personnel departments (with exception for executive federal agencies where personnel is on military or other special service).
At this time, information on the incomes and properties of senior state officials has been officially published and made available on official websites of respective agencies.
Some draft laws have been submitted to the State Duma and are undergoing the approval process. Such laws are intended to significantly improve efficiency in applying antitrust legislation and develop mechanism of prosecution for restrictive practices. Amendments were also made to federal laws on bankruptcy proceedings. A law to introduce the corresponding changes to the Fiscal Code and the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation is nearly complete.
The government of Russia is proceeding with implementation of the National Electronic Government Action Plan by developing an infrastructure for public access to information on the activities of state agencies, providing state services through the use of modern information and communication technologies, and organising a secure inter-ministerial electronic paperwork system.
Work is underway to create multi-function centres to provide state and municipal services. Currently, 22 such centres have been opened in 20 Russian federal constituent entities with the number to reach 37 by the year end. Subsequently, multi-function centres are to operate in every municipal district and urban area. Analysis of performance of the centres already in use evidences reduced deadlines for state services provision and decline in red-tapery, as well as diminishing corruption practices due to elimination of direct contacts between individuals and officials.
Additional budgetary allocations will be provided in 2009-2011 for improving IT support of the courts.
The government has taken measures to improve undergraduate and postgraduate professional education in law.
During the first half of 2009, the Presidential Control Directorate is to accomplish compliance inspections regarding observance of federal laws and presidential orders on corporate legislation elaboration, aiming to ascertain its efficiency in countering corruption and preventing unlawful corporate takeovers (corporate raiding). Executive bodies of all levels exercising control and supervision or granting various approvals have been also inspected to uncover any corruption schemes.
The Presidential Civil Service Directorate, jointly with the Presidential Control Directorate, has inspected the Ministry of Public Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, the Federal Service for Labour and Employment (Rostrud), the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor), the Federal Service for Supervision of Health are and Social Development (Roszdravnadzor), and the Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) of Russia in respect of their observance of the state civil service laws.
The Presidential Personnel and State Decorations Directorate has launched surveying of the National Anti-Corruption Planís implementation in the regions.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has been progressing with ensuring unimpaired public access to information on the activities of local courts of general jurisdiction. For that, official websites of 2,490 local courts have been opened at the web portal of the Pravosudiye (Justice) State Automated System. Currently, some 20% of general jurisdiction courts already make their rulings available on such websites.
The Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation has implemented The Arbitration Courts Judicial Decisions Databank automated internet system for publishing court rulings.
The state property use audits conducted by the Prosecutor Generalís Office have revealed multiple cases of improper use of such property and numerous infractions of respective laws. The audits uncovered cases when authorities of Russian constituent entities and local authorities issued illegitimate instruments, engaged in unlawful state property alienation or in bureaucratically hindering such property management, as well as various deeds by government and municipal servants which may qualify for criminal offences, etc.
The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the General Prosecutorís Office, assisted by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, have been instructed to submit by December 1, 2009 their proposals for amending current legislation regulating state and municipal property management and disposition.
The Russian law enforcement agencies (the Prosecutor Generalís Office, the Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Security Service [FSB], the Federal Service for Drug Control [FSKN], etc.) have intensified combating corruption. In particular, special units within the above agencies have been either set up or consolidated to counter corruption practices, and special crime prevention actions have been carried out.
Corruption-related criminal activity is markedly concealed in nature. While registered corruption-related crimes in 2008 numbered several dozen thousand, the estimate by the R&D centre at the Academy of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation puts the actual figure close to 2 million.
In fighting corruption, international cooperation has been expanded.
The plenary meeting of The Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) confirmed that Russiaís anti-corruption system meets Council of Europe standards. To further improve its anti-corruption system, Russia was given 26 recommendations, including six that are based on the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption provisions.
Currently, the Anti-Corruption Council Board is drafting relevant orders to be issued by the President in line with the GRECO recommendations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has been requested to urgently accelerate submission of its recommendations on expediency of signing the Council of Europeís Civil Law Convention on Corruption.
Upon examination of the National Anti-Corruption Plan progress report for the second half of 2008, the President gave relevant instructions to the Cabinet, the General Prosecutorís Office, and the Ministry of Justice.
In line with these instructions, the Cabinet made suggestions on modifying some presidential executive orders. Such modifications are intended to enforce public servantsí compliance with the civil service conduct general principles.
The Government Commission on Administrative Reform has approved a sample plan of actions for countering corruption, to be employed at government agencies. The plan specifies the basic anti-corruption measures to be taken to detect the causes for and conditions of corruption in performing government duties.
The General Prosecutorís Office has submitted several draft federal laws concerning expert examination of statutory acts and drafts thereof, intended to prevent occurrence of corrupt practices in their subsequent application. The Russian Cabinet has approved the rules and procedures for performing expert examination of the draft statutory acts.
Implementation of the measures of the National Anti-Corruption Plan shall proceed.