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Medvedev to chair anti-corruption council meeting

March 13, 2012, 0:34 UTC+3

Russian President will chair a meeting of the Russian anticorruption council, the first one in 2012

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MOSCOW, March 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday will chair a meeting of the Russian anticorruption council, the first one in 2012 and the fifth – since its establishment in 2008.

A decree to set up an anti-corruption council was among Medvedev’s first ones in the capacity of the Russian president. Now, with his office term almost over, Medvedev admits that anti-corruption measures have achieved “little success,” but thinks he was right to raise this subject. “I think I was right when I raised this subject at the top level, and whatever you might say, we have begun to act,” he said earlier.

A key achievement of anti-corruption efforts, Medvedev said, is upgrading the legislative base, a process still underway. Thus, following his 2011 address to the Federal Assembly, Medvedev ordered to submit to the State Duma lower parliament house a draft federal law establishing a system of control over big expenses of state officials to see to it that their expenses corresponded to their incomes. Now the bill is being considered by the parliament. At the president’s instruction, a working group was set up at the beginning of 2012 to expose and stop illegal financial transactions. The group is led by First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov. Russia has joined the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, which establishes legally binding standards to criminalise bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions and provides for a host of related measures that make this effective. It is the first and only international anti-corruption instrument focused on the ‘supply side’ of the bribery transaction.

According to the Russian Investigations Committee’s 2011 statistics, the most corruption prone sectors are healthcare, education, and the housing and utilities sector. Evidence of corruption crimes against 255 elected heads of municipalities, 253 municipal officials and workers were brought to court. As many as 1,990 criminal cases were opened against workers of the healthcare and social welfare sectors, about 2,000 cases – in the education and science sector, and 302 cases – against workers of the housing and utilities sector.

Tuesday’s meeting will also discuss a possible national anti-corruption roadmap for the next several years and the initiative to legally bind state servants to declare their expenditures.

The mission of the council, chaired by the Russian president, is to prepare proposals on a state anti-corruption policy, to coordinate and control anti-corruption efforts.

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