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Russia’s Open Government proposes to set up anti-corruption bureau

March 22, 2012, 17:44 UTC+3
The expert also pointed to the necessity to establish a public council under the bureau “to involve civil society in the anti-corruption struggle”
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MOSCOW, March 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Open Government has suggested a new law enforcement structure – a so-called anti-corruption bureau – should be set up in Russia. The idea was voiced by Sergei Alexanshenko, the macroeconomic research director of the Higher School of Economics, at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

According to Alexashenko, among the competences of the would-be bureau should be conducting pre-investigation checks and preliminary investigations, initiating criminal cases, wording indictments, and backing state prosecutors at courts. The agency will be tasked to thoroughly check sources of income and expenditures of state servants, expose their illegal income and punish those, who are found guilty of office abuse. As an example, Alexashenko cited income declarations filed by some members of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house in 2011, which varied a great deal. No further steps were taken, he noted.

“The bureau will be tasked to take anti-corruption measures in top echelons of civil service, i.e. to analyze and check tax declarations, to expose possible conflicts of interests and take steps to remedy the situation, Alexashenko said. According to Alexashenko, the would-be bureau might be vested with special authorities, such as to dismiss officials accused of corruption from office for the period of investigation.

The expert also pointed to the necessity to establish a public council under the bureau “to involve civil society in the anti-corruption struggle.”

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