All companies should have an anti-corruption policy, says Ministry
The Russian Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare recently published a regulation describing recommended anti-corruption measures for all commercial and non-commercial organizations registered in Russia, including representative offices and affiliates of foreign commercial and non-commercial entities. All organizations are now legally required to adopt and communicate to all their employees a local anti-corruption policy as part of the organization’s anti-corruption compliance program and failure to do so will be evidence of non-compliance with established Russian laws.
What the law says
The schedule titled “Methodological Recommendations for Organizations on the Development and Implementation of Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption,” was officially released by the Ministry on 8 November 2013. The Ministry developed the schedule as directed by Article 25b of Presidential Decree No. 309, “On Measures to Implement Specific Provisions of Federal Law ‘On Combatting Corruption’,” dated 2 April 2013, and pursuant to Article 13.3 of Federal Law No. 273-FZ “On Combatting Corruption,” dated 25 December 2008, as discussed in our Legal Alert of February 2013.
An organization’s anti-corruption policy should be enacted by a formal internal order. It should (1) reflect the goals, tasks and principles of the policy, (2) define the terms used in the policy, (3) establish the obligations of decision-making and responsible employees, (4) set forth a list of anti-corruption measures, standards and procedures and how they are to be implemented, (5) provide for employee liability for failing to comply with the anti-corruption policy requirements, and (6) indicate any other necessary provisions and procedures.
Although current Russian law does not expressly provide for liability of organizations or their officials for not having an anti-corruption policy, the lack of such policy will be evidence of non-compliance of the organization with established Russian anti-corruption laws. For example, in practice, when carrying out prosecutor’s supervision at an organization, public prosecutors consider the absence of an anti-corruption policy as a violation of anti-corruption legislation. They issue a representation that such policy should be adopted, and in case of non-compliance, bring the matter to court.
An anti-corruption policy is an essential part of an organization’s anti-corruption compliance efforts. For an organization which is under investigation for anti-corruption violations, and being prosecuted for an administrative violation under Article 19.28 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, having in place a set of effective anti-corruption measures will contribute to a company’s