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.

 
Monday, 08 April 2013

More than a quarter of governors hide their income

inao_daclareOn 28th March, 2013, Transparency International Russia published its Rating on the accessibility of the declarations, of Leaders of the Subjects of the Federation and Deputies of the Legislative Assembly, on revenues and property. In the rating, regions range in the levels of complexity of findings and the usability of information on revenues and property, published on governmental websites.

The obligatory provision of declarations on the revenues and property of public officials appeared in Russia from 25th December 2008 with the acceptance of the federal law № 273 "On the Opposition of Corruption". The order was supplemented alongside the decrees of the President of the Russian Federation and other federal laws. The order stated that the way in which this information should be displayed is to be determined by the regional legislative law, but not all regional legislative assemblies have accepted the regulation of the published declaration.

 
Monday, 08 April 2013

How transparent is Russian Defence sector

gov_anicorr_index_2013On 21 March 2013, at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, a round table of experts convened to discuss investigation of and research on corruption in the defense sector. The discussion focused on the inaugural publication of the Transparency International (TI) Defense and Security Program’s anti-corruption indices. The indices, researched in collaboration with Transparency International – Russia (TI-R), provide governments and industry participants with an accurate ranking of their current defense sector anti-corruption policies and tools for improving their future transparency. The two-part event consisted of a keynote address by Leah Wawro of the TI-UK Defense and Security Program, followed by an open discussion among participants.

 
Saturday, 06 April 2013

Two sides of fighting corruption in Russia

flickr_jubarrier_kremlin_914The Russian government is sending out two very different messages in its declared war on corruption. On the one hand it is trying to curtail the efforts of civil society organisations as they go about their business, including Transparency International Russia, with a series of inspections that are hampering their operations. But at the same time, the government is taking measures to stop officials from hiding illicit wealth as part of its programme to curb corruption.

Although cracking down on government corruption is welcome, it is no substitute for independent scrutiny. That is why the crackdown on civil society is so counterproductive, and not just in the fight against corruption. It is a blow against democracy because if it forces civil society organisations to close – and this is likely – it will deny ordinary citizens a voice through independent organisations on issues that concern them.

Last week tens of non-governmental organisations were inspected by the Russian authorities as the government moved to enforce a series of controversial laws aimed at identifying organisations that receive foreign funding. When the laws were enacted, we with many other NGOs spoke out against them.

 
Friday, 21 December 2012

Roundtable “Information Partnership of Russian Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres”

On 20th December 2012, in the Oval hall of the All-Russian State Library of Foreign Literature, there was a roundtable on “The Partnership of Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres: New possibilities for the cooperation of Russian NGOs” which was organized by Transparency International - R. The roundtable was dedicated to the launch of the project “Information partnership of Russian Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres”. This initiative was developed by TI-R in cooperation with the company “RedSoft”, who supply solutions in the field of data management specialize in program security based on software with open source code. In the capacity of a special task of the project, the developers pointed to the establishment of effective joint work of various public structures and the development of their interaction with the community of experts and volunteers.

In addition to developers, the roundtable was attended by representatives of the Moscow Helsinki Group, the National Anti-Corruption Committee, Vladimir region intellectual public movement "Lebed’", Ecological Association "Bellona", the Novgorod regional public organization "the Assembly of Indigenous People of Novgorod", the Kaliningrad regional anti-corruption expert community, the inter-regional public organization of consumers “FinPotrebSouz", Zvenigorodskoe city branch of the all-Russian society of protection of monuments of history and culture and the Centre of Social and Labour rights.

 
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