вторник, 7 октября 2008 г.

Fight against corruption

Vera Kholmogorova


President Dmitry Medvedev has finally submitted to the Duma a package of legislative drafts aimed at fighting corruption. The lawmakers say it will not take them long to approve the suggested new laws and amendments


Soon after his installment as Russia’s leader, he founded a special Presidential Anti-Corruption Committee, and instructed Sergei Naryshkin, head of his administration, to oversee the drafting of new laws supposed to help curb corruption. Las week, after the Committee’s meeting, the package of draft laws was sent to the parliament.

What is the bribe taker hiding?

The portfolio includes for draft laws, including the basic Federal Law on Counteracting Corruption, which gives a precise definition of the social evil. The draft law is accompanied with about 25 amendments to the current legislation. It states that every official, from federal ministers to heads of local administration, on their taking the office, should declare all their property and income, as well as those of their family members. The same norm is also proposed for military officials, prosecutors, judges and candidate judges, police and law enforcement officials. The draft law also provides that in some cases, the information declared may be published in the media. If a state or municipal official is a business shareholder, they must place their stock into trust. The law will also ban officials from receiving gifts that cost more that 5.000 rubles (about $ 200). When an official receives a more expensive present, it must be declared state property.

What will happen?

One of the most important novelties to be introduced, is a two-year long ban for former officials to work with any business they where collaborating with while in office.

Anti-corruption amendments are also to be made to Russia’s Criminal Code, including one providing for forfeiture of property for some corruption-related crimes. The move may be seen controversial by some legislators, but it is clear the legislators will approve the President’s draft laws without major changes in them.

Apart from discipline and punishment, the legislative package pays attention to prevention of corruption. One of the suggested measures is increasing wages of state official, and rewards who do their job well.

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