Legalised corruption: most corrupted public services named in Tatarstan
The Tatarstan prosecutor’s office has detected 200 corruption-related violations in regulations and bills of the republic. Prosecutors have examined almost twice more documents for Q1 2019 than for the whole of last year — 5,531 (3,800 in 2018), journalists were told at a press conference in the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan on 4 July. The meeting was dedicated to the anti-corruption assessment of regulations. Read what corruption danger lurks in the texts of bills and orders, what conflicts of interest are found in the corridors of Tatarstan authorities and why corruptors almost don’t get punished in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
“Reliable protection was created”
“The opposition to corruption is a topical issue and, let’s say, with many branches,” Chairman of the Tatarstan State Council’s Committee for Law and Order Shakir Yagudin said. “A reliable legislative and legal framework were created in the country and the republic to oppose corruption… Anti-corruption assessment is, in fact, a preventive measure for corruption-related violations and is designed to eliminate all possible corruption-related risks in advance.”
Total numbers wanted to be made public at the July press conference. However, it turned out that not all agencies that are responsible for the opposition to corruption had drawn conclusions of the first half of the year. The Ministry of Justice had the time to do it, while the Tatarstan prosecutor’s office is going to sum up the work only in the second half of the month.
More acts, more violations
“The Tatarstan Ministry of Justice made an anti-corruption assessment of 689 regulations and bills for the first half of 2019 and 1,459 in 2018,” said Vice Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tatarstan Aynur Galimov. “17 corruptogenic factors were detected in 14 projects of regulations.”
In 2019, the Ministry of Justice found corruption factors 10 out of 391 acts for the first half in seven acts when checking the registration of state acts.
Galimov explained that from a perspective of corruption the factors “providing a user with an unreasonably wide range of considerations or opportunities” or containing uncertain, hard-to-achieve or burdensome terms for citizens or organisations pose a threat.
“For instance, when providing a state service, the formulation “might be denied” is used, and terms with which there might be a denial are enumerated. Such a violation as the absence of duration of services, the time given to consider an application are more often.
“Bombs” planted in project
Head of the department of the Tatarstan prosecutor’s office on supervision of compliance with legislation on opposition to corruption Rinat Latypov noted that “the vector of the fight against corruption-related breaches of law had shifted from everyday relationships and got positive dynamics in other spheres of social life”. In other words, if earlier corruptors were more often caught with simply bribe solicitation, now they take advantage of opportunities their power provides in a more sophisticated way.
“Anti-corruption assessment is just an ounce of the whole work we do,” Latypov stressed. “The work on 5,531 regulations, including 5,516 projects of regulations, had been done for the first quarter of 2019. 62 regulations and 136 projects of regulations contained corruptogenic factors.”
As an example, the head of the department of the Tatarstan prosecutor’s office on supervision of compliance with legislation on opposition to corruption cited the order of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan as of 11.10.2017 on annual republic competition among rural settlements where “legal uncertainties were detected”, and the order was cancelled by the prosecutor’s office’s request.
Talking about criminal cases, according to Rinat Latypov, the most corrupted spheres for the first five months in 2019 are the management of state and municipal property (50 crimes), education (115 crimes), construction, housing and utilities (28 crimes), health care and social security (six crimes), agro-industrial complex (two crimes).
Latypov drew the journalists’ attention to a no less important problem than legal loopholes for corruptors and by-laws to often arising conflicts of interest in government agencies.
“56 facts of conflicts of interested have been detected during the year,” he said. “Unfortunately, employers’ reaction was the following: only one person was fired because of the loss of trust.”
He says that “a legal vacuum” in this sphere is the reason why the order in this sphere wasn’t put and the guilty of the creation of the corruptogenic situation, in fact, weren’t held accountable:
“An employer doesn’t have an obligation to issue an order on termination of employment mandatorily. It is his right to fire or not to fire. As a rule, employers are quite tolerant, choose different corrective measures but don’t use the strict “loss of trust”, though in many cases this would be more suitable I think.”
In answer to Realnoe Vremya’s question, the head of the department of the Tatarstan prosecutor’s office on supervision of compliance with legislation on opposition to corruption. Specified that the head of a guardianship department in Menzelinsk District was the only fired person at the behest of the prosecutor’s office because of a loss of trust of the public worker who as a minor’s guardian granted herself permissions to withdraw money from his banking account without bringing it to her employer's notice.