Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Recovering stolen assets in Russia

Transparency International Russia Center prepared a paper on the topic of asset recovery- defined as the process of returning public funds which have been stolen as a result of retired or present corrupt officials, members of their families, political allies or affiliates.

Currently there is national legislation and international mechanisms that ensure the process of returning assets. Among other things, the returning of assets is enshrined in Article 20 of the UN Convention against Corruption. The paper describes the current world practice on asset recovery, as well as the recently introduced national legislation which is directed at legally requisitioning the assets of public officials which cannot be accounted for on their current income, for example if an official buys a car which is not hypothetically possible to purchase on his income. The new legislation has not yet been applied in any cases. The full paper can be read here.

 
Tuesday, 27 May 2014

From simple to complicated: Anti corruption talk for schoolchildren

On 15th May, Elena Vandisheva from the regional anti corruption center in St Petersburg and Leningrad Area, held a session on anti corruption for Class 11 students at the Niziinsky High School and spoke about the significance of ethical standards in the legal profession.

The roundtable discussion covered topics including the rules of public office, the requirements of candidates for these positions and the moral choices of working in the legal sphere (high profile cases for example).

3 groups worked on preparing an ethical code for courts, prosecutors and lawyers and drawing pictures of their ideal lawyer. In each presentation, every group mentioned honesty and integrity. The session ended with an analysis of a few cases and a discussion on the consequences of violating professional ethical standards.

 
Monday, 28 April 2014

President Putin approves new anti corruption measures

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In a new national plan for 2014-2015, President Putin has approved more anti corruption measures. It seems that a considerable number of the measures are a continuation of measures in previous plans; however there are some new measures to be introduced. Given recent events, the bill also notes that anti corruption measures should be extended to Crimea and Sevastopol. This is the fourth "national plan against corruption". The first national plan against corruption was approved by President Medvedev in June 2008 and subsequent plans were approved in 2010-2011 and 2012-2013.

 
Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Russian state corporations need to take further anti corruption measures

A report by Transparency International in October 2013 concluded that more anti corruption measures needed to be taken by Russian companies operating in the international market. In the report Transparency in Corporate Reporting: Assessing Emerging Market Multinationals, companies were analysed from the emerging markets- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). According to the report, Chinese companies scored significantly worse than other countries with Indian companies receiving the highest rating. Russian companies also scored highly, notably United Company Rusal, the Russian aluminum producer, which scored 100% on organizational transparency. Gazprom also performed well. It is worth noting that Gazprom had been investigated in an earlier report by Transparency International on corporate reporting and had improved considerably since June 2012. Norilsk Nickel, Evraz Group, Severstal and LukOil were also analysed, with LukOil scoring the worst out of the Russian companies.

 
Wednesday, 09 April 2014

Transparency International-Russia report highlights key problems with state funds being allocated to Russian NGOs

amsimaging.comA new Transparency International-Russia report, “Monitoring the distribution of state funding and how it is allocated to support civil society organisations”  will be published after extensive research into how state funding is allocated to civil society non profit organisations  and discussed in further detail at a roundtable discussion at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) on April 16th.

 
Friday, 14 June 2013

Threats to civil society space

A joint statement from the G20 civil summit in Russia

 14 June 2013

The G20 Civil Summit is an excellent opportunity for G20 governments to interact with representatives of global civil society who are working on issues related to G20 priorities.  As participants in this summit, we welcome this forum and commend the government of the Russian Federation for organising it.

At the same time, though, the G20 Civil Summit is not occurring in a vacuum.  

In Russia, severe restrictions are being placed on civil society organisations' freedom to operate as new laws require organisations that have received funding or other support from overseas to register as 'foreign agents' or risk being shut down.  People across the Russian Federation stand to lose the most from the termination of the work undertaken by these organisations, which ironically is often undertaken at the request of the government itself.  It is crucial that governments differentiate direct services, advocacy and policy work from political activity, which is completely different. 

 
Wednesday, 22 May 2013

No one has all the answers

ti-russia_badgecheckingday2_620Last week the Moscow City Prosecutor’s Office sent to Transparency International Russia an official warning to register as a foreign agent. This came because the Prosecutor said TI Russia was shaping public opinion about government policies in the field of law enforcement and had an impact on the adoption by State institutions of laws and regulations.

In Russian, the term foreign agent is synonymous with spy and would mean that TI-Russia is heavily influenced from abroad. We would beg to differ.

Like the more than 100 other Transparency International chapters around the world, TI-Russia fights corruption. That is not a political activity per se, rather a public good, but without doubt it requires interactions with politicians because stopping corruption means introducing sound policies.

 
Wednesday, 15 May 2013

TI-Russia recommends improvements to the implementation of the UN convention against corruption

uncac_15-05

Moscow. Transparency International-Russia held a roundtable on ‘the Implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption in Russia’. TI-R compiled a report, produced with UNDEF funding, which reviews Russian implementation and enforcement of selected articles (15, 16, 17, 20, 23, 26, 32, 33, 35, 36) in chapters III (Criminalisation and Law Enforcement) and IV (International Cooperation).

The UNCAC was adopted by Russia in 2003 and came into effect in December 2005. The convention includes measures to promote the prevention and criminalisation of corruption, law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, technical assistance and information exchange.

 
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