President Medvedev continues to lead a high profile campaign against corruption in Russia, although the actual legislative results have been disappointing and enforcement of existing laws selective. According to the latest Russian General Prosecutor’s report dated 28 April 2010, during 2009, Russian prosecuting authorities imposed sanctions on bribegivers twice as often as against bribetakers. This tends to support the view that public servants are being largely insulated from anti-corruption measures.
Nevertheless, governmental work on the improvement of anti-corruption legislation is under way. Presidential Decree No. 1065 ("on the verification of accuracy and completeness of data provided by public servants") adopted on 21 September 2009 introduced new procedures for the verification of reports on the income of public servants and their relatives (primarily spouses and children). However, there are no reported cases yet of any criminal or administrative proceedings being initiated against public servants under the Decree.
In July 2009, a Federal Law on Anticorruption Expert Analysis of Legislative Acts was passed. At present, loopholes and defects in existing legislation allow for many acts of corruption to go unpunished. The new law establishes a system of preventative measures and subsequent monitoring of any laws with a propensity to promote corruption. Under new legislation the prosecutor’s offices are responsible for expert analysis of existing legislative acts, the Ministry of Justice is responsible for scrutinizing draft legislation, and other government bodies perform the relevant analysis of their own legislative acts.
Following a review of existing legislation the prosecutor has the right to request amendments to be made to the legislation. However, failure by a relevant individual to comply with such request would only result in an administrative fine of USD 100 under the Code of Administrative Offenses. In addition, the Ministry of Justice’s scrutiny is of an advisory nature only.
In light of the above the Russian fight against corruption still seems more theoretical than real. The Russian authorities have yet to adopt a systematic and non-arbitrary approach to enforcement of current legislation. Still, the Russian authorities certainly perceive corruption as a key problem.