MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree which excludes 23 top managers of state-owned companies and members of their families from the list of those who are obliged to disclose income information to the media, Kommersant newspaper citing a copy of the decree reported Tuesday.
Now only heads, their deputies, and chief accountants of "autonomous non-profit organizations, state-owned commercial institutions, state budgetary institutions, foundations, public companies and public corporations" have to publish financial data. Companies excluded from the list, still have to disclose the information on their income, expenditures and property liabilities to the government. But only heads of non-profit organizations have to reveal the information to the media.
"The company’s top management are not public employees, they work in business. The very presence of the state as a company’s shareholder does not change the company's status as a commercial entity. In this case, the top management of state-owned companies must provide information to the government, but it is also a commercial secret," PM spokesman Natalia Timakova said.
Non-government and budgetary organizations, according to Timakova, are "a different issue" - they are directly financed from the budget, so their management should report publicly.
Heads of state-owned companies were obliged to provide information to the government, but not to the general public in the summer of 2013. The list consisted of 62 companies, including Russian Railways, Rosneft, Gazprom, Rusnano, Sberbank, VEB, Rosneftegaz, Transneft. At the end of December, 2014 Medvedev signed a decree obliging heads of state companies to publish income data in the Internet.
Not all top managers agreed to the changes. In particular, the head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin in January said in an interview with Rossiya 24 channel, that he considered the requirement to be an unlawful invasion of privacy. But later he said he was ready to publish the data, since this was required by the government.