The President’s National Anti-corruption Plan for the period 2018-2020 aims, as previous plans, to improve the legislation and enforcement practice in the following areas:
- prevention and disclosure of conflicts of interest;
- control over state officials’ expenses and forfeiture of non-confirmed incomes to the state;
- counteraction of corruption in the public procurement sector; and
- international collaboration on revealing, arresting and returning assets gained as a result of corruption.
Many efforts in the past two years were directed at counteracting corruption both at the level of the civil service and that of private companies.
A number of initiatives were aimed at increasing transparency in the civil service and generally deterring civil servants from committing corruption offences. For instance:
- In 2019, the General Prosecutor’s Office was granted the right to request information on the foreign bank accounts of civil servants through the Central Bank of Russia.
- A register of civil servants dismissed for corruption offences has been available online since 2018.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection has developed new recommendations regarding anti-corruption measures to be adopted by companies (Please see the Compliance requirements for companies section). However, many organisations still fail to implement anti-corruption measures in spite of the fact that there has been a legal requirement to do so since 1 January 2013. This is largely because no specific sanctions for the relevant violations are in place.
A legal entity will now liable when bribery offences have been committed not only for its benefit, but also for that of any related legal entities. The maximum fine for such offences was increased to 100 times the amount of the bribe (on top of the seizure of the amount paid as a bribe).
At the same time, some of the initiatives widely discussed in 2018 were put on hold or declined in 2019. For example, a bill protecting whistle-blowers was rejected by the State Duma, and a bill introducing restrictions on the types of gifts that civil servants may receive was postponed for an indefinite period.
Court practice in the sphere of anti-corruption has also been developed:
- At the end of 2019, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation amended its resolutions of the Plenum on bribery cases and abuse of powers.
- Rulings of lower courts on corruption cases were regularly reviewed by the Supreme Court and summarised in court practice reviews.
- In 2019, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation established that non-confirmed incomes or property purchased using such incomes can also be seized from any relatives and even friends of a civil servant.
According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the number of corruption crimes revealed by investigating authorities for the first nine months of 2019 increased in comparison with 2018 (26,114 in 2019 against 25,004 in 2018) .
Similarly, the number of offences committed by legal entities has doubled over the past five years.
As in the previous year, 2019 saw several landmark anti-corruption cases and investigations against high-ranking officials, including the governors of several regions and federal agency officials.