Dangerous Offices

New Initiative in Fighting Corruption 

Civil servants will have to disclose their contacts  New anti-corruption measures will be introduced gradually. Every federal agency and regional administration will compile alist of state offices which are most susceptible to corruption. The civil servants who hold those posts will get higher salaries and benefits, but they will have to agree to complete surveillance overtheir way of life and contacts. These measures are set out in an anti-corruption program which has been approved by a government commission.

The anti-corruption program, written by the Economic Development Ministry, will be trialled in 30 agencies and regions -including the Federal Antimonopoly Service, the Saratov region, and the Tomsk region. “We’ll see how it works, and once any necessary adjustments have been made, we shall recommend it for all government bodies,” said Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Naryshkin, head of the government commission on state administration reforms, at a pressconference on Friday, July 20.

According to the program, each agency will have a confirmed list of corruption-susceptible offices. These are posts in which civil servants have to deal directly with the public and companies: issuing licenses and permits, registration, monitoring and oversight, distributing state funding, and making state purchases.

Civil servants in these dangerous offices will get a”compensation package.” Andrei Sharov, a department director at the Economic Development Ministry, explains that this could include ahigher salary: “That would be legal – the law on state service allows for higher salaries for specific results.” However, Naryshkin said that this question hasn’t been discussed as yet. Sharov notes that the program could be introduced from the next budget cycle. Another Economic Development Ministry official told us that”corruption hazard” officials might also get extra benefits -housing or free public transport.

In exchange for the bonuses, these bureaucrats will be kept under close surveillance. They will all be employed on fixed-term contracts (most now have indefinite contracts). They will be rotated regularly. Their pockets may be searched at any time, and if they are found to be carrying more money than a set limit, that would because for suspicion. They will have to attend regular ethics seminars to help them “be aware of the importance and responsibility of state service as a form of serving the public and the state.”They will have to disclose the contacts of people they communicate with in the course of their duties. Their incomes, assets, andl ifestyles will also be monitored.

Author: Alexandra Petrachkova
Vedomosti July 30, 2007  
Translated by Elena Leonova.

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