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Thursday, March 22, 2018

“Before the election, will fly a couple of Ministers and half a Governor”

Everyone knows that if something in Russia and is well — so it is with corruption.

And how well in Russia with the fight against corruption and whether it is possible on some effective anti to say? Sometimes it seems that in addition to pictures TV, where loud is arrested another official, investigator, or of the Governor, nothing in this part and is not happening…

We decided to talk about the difficult situation on the anti-corruption front, with the Vice-President of the international organization “transparency international”, the founder and Chairman of the Board of Russian branch of the organization Elena Panfilova.

photo: Alex geldings

Elena Panfilova

— Some researchers believe that the fight against corruption is not about Russia, because our society is feudal caste, and what in the West is considered to be corruption violations is no more than feeding, a kind of annuity that is associated with the received from the king position.

— “Some scholars” say about it for the last 25 years, maybe more. They are certainly right from the point of view of the description of some features of the Russian society, the diagnosis, but in 1991 the country has chosen a different path of development. In the end, we continue to believe that we have a Constitution and what to eat, but elections, that is, who would not say that, still we have a glimmer of Humanities of the European vector of development. Yes, we can admit that the society remained paternalistic-feudal elements of the perception of the relationship between man and the official. But admit — it does not mean to put up with it.

— Except in recent years the vector of development has turned towards the feudalization of society?

— I don’t agree with it. Surely you have a lot of friends that suddenly began to do charity work, interested in the Affairs of the HOA and work together to improve the lives of the porch. Someone wants a cozy middle ages, where the king of you if you don’t kill, feed, and someone wants to solve their problems, to help others. This vector cannot be denied, grassroots civil society in Russia.

— And how Russia looks from the point of view of the situation of corruption in different kind of rankings? There is a positive trend?

— In our press releases we use the words “corruption and stabilisation.” Indeed, in the middle of zero years, after the ratification of the UN Convention against corruption (Russia signed in 2003 and ratified in 2006.—”MK“), there were high hopes that now appears an appropriate regulatory framework, and it will go. And then everything seemed frozen for a reason, which for many is obvious: we have one of the most good in the world of anti-corruption legislation, but badly with law enforcement. Our enforcement — fabulist Krylov would be envious, is not something that is a Swan, crayfish and pike — there’s a rabbit with a drum and a monkey with a tambourine. Who in the woods, who for firewood, where some laws are enforced, and somewhere in there…

And there is a tradition: the summer before an election is always unhappiness, be sure to fly a couple of Ministers, one and a half Governor and even a little bit of officials on the little things because rage is considered an excellent anti-corruption electoral platform. But the fight against corruption must be daily work, indiscriminate and inevitable, when one law for all. Such a close and yet, alas, no, so we were stuck in all these indexes are approximately the same.

And what is this place?

— Always in the bottom third. If you ask “off the record” entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, students and their parents: you become easier to live with in terms of corruption? Obviously the majority will say “no.” And the lower-level officials, executives, mired in the endless regulation, the answer is likely “no.”

This stagnation in law enforcement, when for some reason the quality of work is measured by the number of documents received, creates a fertile environment for corruption to be contained even grow in some new directions.

“But the election Board or the resignation presented as not related to corruption cases. Who said, for example, that Andrei Belyaninov in July, was fired from his post as head of the FCS for corruption?

Yes, it happens vaudeville history. They originate from is also a campaign in the summer of 2003: the phrase “werewolves in uniform” came into circulation when marching at the head of the electoral list of the ruling party, the Minister of internal Affairs Boris Gryzlov has solemnly and under camera arrested a large group of law enforcement officers. Where all these people were then, what they were accused? This is television, and the society is not very interested. But the TV show — and it was the highlight of the season. And what happens now with Sakhalin Governor Khoroshavin? Money boxes are also a camera, a pen, and the TV sputtered… And then little by little somehow all is blurred in the media. Somewhere someone is sitting. Or not sitting. The society is not aware of. And with Belyaninov same: again, the cameras are on the scene almost before prosecutors and investigators, and not have to utter the word “corruption” when you can show the officer next to boxes with absolutely not sovereign cash…

— It seems the wife of successful business deals.

— His wife may be at least heir to the Arab Sheik, but it’s not the TV presenter! We show the officer and the box! The result — a spoon, as they say, found, and osadochek remained.

Unfortunately, corruption is constantly being used for electoral purposes, in order to inter-elite wars, which hurts the real business enormously, because when the moment comes to show a real, serious investigation and will need public support, people will yawn and say: “no way!”.

Where I live not frightened corrupt?

The government recently submitted to the state Duma a bill to create a registry of persons dismissed from the civil service in connection with loss of trust for Commission of corruption offenses. How do you assess this initiative?

— Many other compositions disqualification a long time there: pedophiles, for example, will not be allowed to work in the school. But our anti-corruption legislation is designed so that the most severe punishment for violations such as conflict of interest, lies in the declarations, is dismissal for loss of confidence. I hope that in the future there will be at least a precedent of an administrative fine, because people somehow have to answer for their “Oh, I forgot the house in which they live!”. This kind of practice should be stopped.

There is a notion of a repeat offender. A person who knowingly lied once, likely to lie again. This is really nothing more to do in the public service.

Help “MK”:

“In Russian law under the conflict of interest means “a situation in which personal interest (direct or indirect) of persons holding the position of”… affects or may affect “the proper, objective and impartial performance” of their duties. Moreover, under personal interest is defined as “the ability to generate revenue in the form of money, other property, including property rights, services of property character of the results of the work performed or any benefits (advantages) by an official, his close relatives and cousins as well as “citizens or organizations with whom the officer or person who is with him in close relationship (property) property related or other close relations.”

— And if the corrupt out of their own volition? It is in the registry is not fall?

– If the machinery of investigation anti-corruption offenses have spun on their own very rarely allowed to leave.

Incidentally, we asked the presidential Council for countering corruption and the office of the President on combating corruption, how many people and which departments were dismissed in connection with loss of trust, but the exact information we were not given. And with the consideration of the conflict of interest they have generally a dark forest — the brothers Grimm such a dense thicket and can’t imagine. My students in the project work analyzed the protocols of the meetings of the commissions on settling conflicts of interests of the Federal bodies of Executive power — there is nothing impossible to understand: that considered, I figured, why not consider…

But there is good news, and it is again the question about the vector: public organizations have learned pretty quickly and efficiently a conflict of interest to reveal — through the public procurement website (and not only) to detect officers with various businesses on the side.

— So you check out the owners of the companies won the competition, and reveal their kinship and other ties with the officer responsible for the organization of the competition?

— You will not believe: in the regions still have such an unabashed, who themselves own the business themselves money from the budget can be arranged! The Prosecutor’s office, among other things, our information respond, in private conversations, prosecutors even Express a little appreciation, because they are not able to go through and identify…

Conflict of interest is now in our country the dominant form of corruption from the point of view of damage to the national interests of the country — it doubles, triples and multiplies by a hundred the budgets for the construction of different facilities, the cost of everything, because each official has a piece in the power of affiliation. If I was Bad (Poor Oleg, head of the office of the President on corruption issues. — “MK”), I would all their efforts on training in the identification of conflicts of interest.

— You think it is just a problem of lack of personnel?

— The wording of the law is not perfect, but it is quite possible to work. Apparently, soon these restrictions will fall and employees of corporations. There is a problem of building a more clear and logical line of control to those who are called “persons holding state posts of the Russian Federation”. They can also be a conflict of interest, and who should authorize?

— Office of the President on that?

But this control do not even have a website and protocols for the consideration of cases out there to see impossible. But in this category of officials includes judges, MPs, Ministers, governors, and mayors…

In relation to Ministers is the Commission of the government — it was the same story with the Minister of agriculture Tkachev, whose relatives own the agricultural enterprises; the government considered the case and said that no conflict of interest.

All this is at the level of the Amateur: how the law is understood and applied. Most importantly — whom we have equipped with these anti-corruption Commission of different levels. They mostly sit the employees of HR departments, which was not much taught. And anticorruption — is as much a profession as a tractor or a journalist. Here it is necessary to have some knowledge and legal, economic, financial, and many others.

Where the wife Petrova “Lamborghini”?

2012 officers are required to declare a major purchase and if its amount exceeds the overall three-year family income. But the Declaration of expenditure are not published, and if the innovation is unclear.

— With regard to the Declaration in the first years was just a circus attraction, there is not only house — wives were forgotten. Was not uniform requirements for the publication and preservation of previous declarations. Now the requirements are unified, declarations for previous years are stored and can be compared, the format in which they are located, more convenient and readable. And fewer lies.

But remain people who do not understand why this is necessary. They do nothing — they must live in cardboard boxes in a vacant lot. There are those who obviously fictitious divorces, and this phenomenon is becoming more widespread. Besides, it is still completely incomprehensible algorithm of verification of declarations. Until you poke a stick in the anthill, while journalists do not write, the public organization does not pay attention to the impression that nobody checks even the most outlandish documents.

With regard to major purchases — it was the half case when people received sanctions for an excess of expenditure over income…

— I do not remember any.

– In the far East one state official low level and got someone else. But how do they all check — nobody knows. A very controversial rule. And it’s clear why: the requirement to declare expenses in this formulation appeared only in order to evade the adoption of rules similar to article 20 of the UN Convention (Russia ratified the Convention with the exemptions, including article 20. — “MK“).

There is written: if there is officials ‘ property, or to property, the origin of which he cannot reasonably explain, it is necessary punishment is dismissal, forfeiture or even criminal liability. If we went this route, it would have been more obvious. Sidorova asked: where is the house? He puts on the table the deed from her grandmother. We believe, not believe, but the paper is. Or Petrov’s wife rides a Lamborghini, he is a piece of paper on the table: receipts for shares… okay, accepted. And I can’t explain — sorry, comes the triumph of the rule of law. And with these three-year savings of households it is not clear what to do. For example, “Lamborghini” Petrov’s wife is exactly three annual family income. Technically everything is in order, and even declaring this purchase is not subject, but that Petrov was eating all the time, tell?..

— And in other countries it controlled?

— Not everywhere, but in all countries, to take an example, with reference to public men applies the above rule: if there is a property to which there are questions, — justify.

And now the most important thing. Why with all the trouble the procedure Declaration in the West and South-East, in countries like South Korea, people refer to this much quieter? All domestic anti-corruption design we have built on the basis of the UN Convention against corruption and other similar documents.

There, everywhere we are talking about public officials (public officials), that is, persons who, by definition, serve only and exclusively to the society and is accountable to him. And we applied these standards and requirements for state employees who serve the state, and we at best only provide services. Not see the slightest reason publicly in front of us with something to report. So that some do not declare, and the other is not checked as it should not because they are absolute villains. Just as many of them genuinely believe they don’t owe us anything. I often hear: “Why do I have to show it? It’s an invasion of privacy!” But if you don’t want to be invaded, do not go to the civil service or in politics. But if I undertook to manage at least one budget penny, we have the right to know all about you.

— But we kind of like state-owned not state-owned! Here’s a recent example with “Rosneft”: it believes that the state company is thus established not by the state. How can you separate the private from the public?

— We are very much going to suffer the consequences and hastily executed privatization, and brutally carried out re-privatization. The garden pile up a fair amount. The Corporation is generally established according to the Law on non-profit organizations — as, for example, and we — of Course, this wasn’t supposed to be, and it is necessary to seriously raise the issue that public funds and public interests should be served by much more stringent legal and corporate discipline, and most importantly — discipline in terms of transparency.

Sometimes the head I understand that for good purposes come up with some kind design. But since it is closed, unclear — it immediately attracted the ghouls. And so over and over again. It is impossible to solve such things with Abraham and solely on the basis of short-term expediency. But we have no long-term strategic planning in General and anti-corruption activities in particular. Success in this area don’t happen over night. All love to remember Lee Kuan yew (Prime Minister of Singapore in 1959-1990. — “MK”). But he planned reforms in the early 60’s, and the first stable results obtained in the ‘ 80s, after more than two decades…

Why cover their tracks of corruption harder?

— One more question — the effectiveness of anti-corruption work. Here you find Belianinov undeclared house, wrote about it — so what?

— Public companies in Russia according to the Constitution no right to put people in handcuffs and drag them in Lefortovo. The maximum that we can do this the right way to document everything and send the appeal to Prosecutor’s office, SC or anywhere else.

— Belyaninovo you also sent?

— Of course! We asked how it went, checked it a Declaration at all or not. Upon enquiry, the ball is in their court and they can throw it — but you can take in a game. Sometimes the answer, even some actions are taken. There is a very big difference between the regions: Kaliningrad, for example, the Prosecutor’s office reacts, but somewhere generally would not care.

For us itself a separate incident Belianinov not very important, but a beautiful story — matter accumulation in the public mind understanding of what methods of civil anti-corruption control is something you can do. In recent years, people are increasingly asking: “Teach us! We also want to look for, find, test…”.

After the publication of the Panama dossier in may we held a seminar where he was taught to work with these files, are very different people, from 17-year-old student to doctorate, from touching aunts, who do not know how the computer to work, but ready to pour tea, to the former militiamen. Signed up 300 people, but more than 70 hall, not far from…

— Recently there was a controversy between those who believed that the first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was to declare a private jet, which is actively used, and others said they should not because rewrote the aircraft to an adult son. Whose side are you on?

— I believe that the person who wants to did not stick to it with questions, and doesn’t want to make excuses every month, should once and for all to declare all themselves, to survive once the accusations that you’re so infernally rich, to answer uncomfortable questions and to close this topic. And the transformation of private life in the ethico-legal “Santa Barbara” with an infinite number of series is how to cut the cat’s tail piece by piece. Only one thing moved — need to run more to hide…

In my opinion, this should be at least tiring.

— But it is a path chosen by many.

— Not from a great mind like me. Corruption always leaves traces, either in the form of money or in the form of real estate. If today is to find technologically impossible, therefore, to find tomorrow. Who would have thought a few years ago that there will be all these databases? And when sinhroniziruete of the AML / CFT system with a declarative — everything will be easy.

— As soon sinhroniziruete?

I’m willing to bet that this will happen at the international level in the next five years.

— Say the ban on foreign ownership of assets and accounts for a number of categories of citizens has the anti-corruption sense: the money is returned to Russia, and then they are easier to control… do You agree?

— Yes and no. The minimum anti-corruption the meaning is: indeed, it is possible now to monitor and verify. On the other hand, there is a sense political, because it is also necessary to find hidden money before they find third-party intelligence agencies, not to allow to catch our crooks to someone who may begin to engage in any kind of, shall we say, pressure: in the era of sovereign fencing that would be obscene.

Finally, it is an absolute opportunity to replenish our increasingly scarce budget.

— Russia is a member of several anti-corruption organizations. In terms of this sovereign fencing being built cooperation with them?

— Despite all the sanctions and counter-sanctions, all this senseless and merciless paranoia, Russia tolerably held a conference of the countries-participants of the UN Convention against corruption in September last year in St. Petersburg. Although breakthrough shift does not occur, but cooperation is the signed documents are implemented in time, we did not come neither from GREEK nor from the FATF. We not joined the OECD, what is actively preparing for, there really is the process froze.

And fencing the fencing — but the Panama dossier three years specialists to no avail begged Russia to join the system of international exchange of tax information. But not in time for this dossier the ink to dry — joined with the speed of whiz! Exactly because, as I have said, we want to know everything themselves before they find out the rest.

Help “MK”:

“The FATF is an intergovernmental organization that develops global standards in combating money laundering and terrorist financing, and assesses the national system of countries for compliance with these standards. Russia joined FATF in 2003, cooperation with by Rosfinmonitoring.

GRECO — international organization created by the Council of Europe in 1999. Sets anti-corruption standards the activities of States and identifies the gaps in national anticorruption laws and practices. Russia joined GRECO in 2007, is responsible for the cooperation of the Ministry of justice.

The OECD — an intergovernmental organization of economically developed countries, which now includes 35 countries. Russia for several years was ready to join the OECD and the Prosecutor’s office cooperates with the Working group of the OECD on combating corruption”.

— What does this mean in practice for our corruption?

In practice this means that if in 2018 the system is in full power will earn, this time, it is desirable to make their property abroad at a cost somehow fought with the taxes paid here… you Know, everyone wants quick success, but the real corruption is the game long-term. Another thing is that the system is now sharpened to negative selection in the power and value doublethink. Nobody is against the fight against corruption — the same words that I say tell any official or politician. And then somewhere in a restaurant in Moscow or the near suburbs you happen to hear at the next table they again share some pullback. Double standards, double life…

We have something similar already took place, right? And the hand of the clock of history has turned-since only a quarter of a century and a about it completely forgotten. And for good reason.

Sanctions . Chronicle of events

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