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MOSCOW, October 22 (Itar-Tass) — The State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament on October 26 could consider in the second and main reading the presidential bill on control over the officials’ spending and income correspondence, leader of the United Russia faction in the Duma Andrei Vorobyov told Itar-Tass on Monday after a meeting of the United Russia presidium.
According to the text of the bill, adopted in June in the first reading, persons holding RF public office (public office in RF subjects), occupying positions in the municipal government bodies, federal civil service posts, civil service posts in Russian regions, working on specific positions in the organisations established for the implementation of state functions (state corporations, pension funds and other) will be required to submit information on their expenditures, as well as spending of their husband (wife) and minor children. Public posts also include the Russian President, Government, State Duma deputies, members of the Federation Council. Members of the board of directors of the RF Central Bank, the federal judges are also on this list.
They will be required to submit information about spending on the acquisition of land and other real estate, transport vehicles, securities and shares. But most importantly, they will be obligated to provide information about the sources of obtaining the money they spent. Those who fail to comply with this rule will retire as having committed an offense.
If “sufficient information is obtained that these officials have made the purchase in excess of the total income of that person and his spouse at the main place of their service for the last three years,” the decision on control over their spending can be made. In that case, they will have to provide information about the costs associated with such transaction and about the sources of the funds. They will also be checked for the “accuracy and completeness of the information provided,” as well as for the correspondence of the spending to the total family.
The decision on establishing control will be taken by the “authorised officials, state agencies, departments or officials responsible for the prevention of corruption and other offenses.” The property the acquisition of which with lawful income is not proven shall be turned into revenues for the Russian Federation by a court decision.
By an accompanying bill it is proposed to extend the requirement on control over transactions with money or other property to a number of officials. This group includes foreign public officials, public officials of international organisations and persons holding RF state posts, members of the Board of Directors of the RF Central Bank and others. The document stipulates that in the event of an audit, in accordance with the law on combating corruption, the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) will be required to provide “information it has about their incomes, spending, assets and liabilities.”
Another bill of the package separately sets the obligation to submit information on the spending and sources of the receipt of funds by the RF Prime Minister, his deputies and federal ministers.
According to the bill, the inspection of officials’ spending can by initiated by the national non-government organisations that are not political parties, as well as by political parties, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, the Russian national media.
At a meeting of the Duma relevant Committee on Security on Monday its chairwoman Irina Yarovaya said that the government is considering an initiative to expand the range of persons in respect of whom measures of control over their incomes and spending can be applied. In particular, it is proposed to check university rectors and the heads of medical institutions.
Also, an amendment is introduced to the RF the Criminal Code in accordance with which, if a checked person maliciously evades the payment of a fine imposed on him as the principal punishment, it shall be replaced by any other punishment except imprisonment. According to the authors of the amendment, it could be a house arrest or community service.
These offenses are described in Articles 290 and 291 of the RF Criminal Code, according to which taking a bribe is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years, and large-scale bribe taking (more than one million roubles) – by up to 15 years in prison.