More corruption controls - but bribes are getting bigger

Hand Stuffing Pile of Cash into Inside Pocket of SuitcoatThe clampdown on corruption continues ­ but efforts up to now seem to have had limited effect.

While President Dmitry Medvedev announces new rules requiring officials to get formal consent before working in the commercial or not-for-profit sectors, other reports showed that bribes are getting bigger.

New instructions

A presidential decree requires former officials to apply to the presidium of the anti-corruption committee of the presidential council if they wish to work in any field connected with their state duties over the previous two years.

The presidium will have the right to give a "reasonable refusal" if it appears that this might cause a conflict of interests or enable the former functionary to cash in on contacts nurtured in the service of the government.

Gennady Gudkov, of the Duma's anti-corruption committee, told that the plans could prevent officials looking to set up an escape route before leaving the civil service.

"Some dishonest officials might try to develop patronage from various structures," he said. "In this way they try to provide a foundation for the future if, for example, they are dismissed from the civil service.

"The decree is able to stop such prudent servants."


But not everyone is convinced the plan will work smoothly. Political analyst Alexei Mukhin pointed to the career path of former deputy finance minister Andrei Vavilov, who became chairman of Severnaya Neft via a spell with a bank.

"Of course, in relation to the finance ministry this is a non-core structure but the fact remains that officials can get legal permission to go to organizations where the profile doesn't quite match," Mukhin said.

Rising bribes

Against a background of official anti-corruption programmes, the value of bribes keeps going up.

The average kickback received by Russian officials last year increased 2.5 times to more than 60,000 roubles ($2,000), RIA Novosti reported.

Large bribes were up 30 per cent compared with 2009, while about 8,000 criminal cases were opened related to dodgy payments.

The figures were revealed by Alexander Nazarov, Major-General of the Police, in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta published on Tuesday.

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