It was research that the efforts of the Centre were focused on last year. Particular attention was paid to the drafting of analytical reports commissioned by the State on the following three topics.
1. The systematization of anti-corruption laws was the most important and demanding line of action.
The experts of the Centre analysed all federal laws containing anti-corruption prohibitions, restrictions and obligations. Recommendations on how to streamline the existing anti-corruption standards also with regard to their enforcement against different categories of individuals and to improve the approach towards their incorporation in laws were put forward.
The main outcome of this work was a draft of an updated version of Federal Law of 25 December 2008 No. 273-FZ “On Countering Corruption” (hereinafter referred to as Federal Law No. 273-FZ) along with the proposals to amend over 30 other federal laws.
2. Improvement of anti-corruption regulation of organisations was the other “big topic”.
Based on the analysis of Russian law enforcement practices and foreign experience, the Centre proposed a global reform covering three interrelated areas: expansion of anti-corruption standards to the employees of a wider range of organisations with State participation, clarification of the requirements to adopt anti-corruption measures by organisations provided for by article 13.3 of Federal Law No. 273-FZ, further development of the regulations regarding liability of legal persons for corruption offences, which, as of now, are provided for by article 19.28 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation.
Particular attention was paid to the extraterritorial enforcement of anti-corruption legislation, both as regards the enforcement of Russian legislation against foreign companies and the mitigation of risks of enforcement of foreign laws against Russian entities.
3. The fight against concealment of proceeds of corruption by officials through acquisition and registration of property in third parties’ name was the third, more specific but equally important area of research.
The experts of the Centre conducted thorough analysis of court decisions on specific high profile cases concerning forfeiture to the State under section 8 of article 235 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation of property owned also by the individuals that are not explicitly specified in Federal Law of 3 December 2012 No. 230-FZ “On Control over Consistency of Expenditures of Persons Holding Government Offices and of Other Persons to Their Incomes”. The main lines of argument used by courts were identified, and their merits and constraints were explored. This work resulted in proposals on how to incorporate an exhaustive list of grounds for the forfeiture of property of third parties to the State with the aim to counter corruption in the legislation.
In 2021, a two-year research project on how to improve the measures for detecting corruption in procurement commissioned by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation was finalised.
The main outputs of the project are the following:
1) A list of model malpractices used by dishonest customers to arrange corrupt interactions;
2) Description and guidance on the detection of over 200 indicators of alleged use of these malpractices;
3) A matrix of malpractices and corresponding elements of corruption offences.
Furthermore, the experts of the Centre participated in the implementation of a number of projects carried out by international organisations, in particular, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The most important project was the Global Report on Corruption in Sport prepared with the participation of almost 200 experts from across the world. So far, the publication, released last December, is the most detailed research of an international organisation focused on corrupt practices in sport and measures for countering it. Mr. Alexey Konov, the Director of the Anti-Corruption Centre, supported the review and coordination of the Report and was a co-author of several sections of it.
Additionally, the researchers of the Centre together with UNODC experts prepared the recommendations on how to implement mandatory anti-corruption expert assessment of investment projects in the Republic of Uzbekistan, which would imply systematic analysis of applications with regard to the presence in them of the elements that increase the probability of corruption offences in running the proposed projects.
The Centre also continued to carry out in-house research. 2021 saw the publication of the working materials about the use of fiduciary management to prevent and manage conflict of interest. The paper thoroughly analyses the relevant experience of foreign countries, strengths and weaknesses of their approaches and poses — for the first time in the publications in Russian — the key questions that need to be answered in implementing dedicated fiduciary management mechanisms to counter corruption.
As in the previous years, the Centre undertook different educational initiatives. Most of them were held remotely.
In particular, the Centre organised a series of in-depth webinars focused on certain most complex issues of enforcement of the Russian anti-corruption laws (for details, please, see here, here, here and here). The number of online courses targeted at the individuals subject to anti-corruption restrictions, prohibitions and obligations increased. The experts of the Centre participated in a number of workshops organised in different Russian regions, including the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Republic of Kalmykia, and Moscow Region.
The experts of the Centre intensified their interaction with the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), which resulted in the first IACA online courses in Russian on using asset disclosure to detect indicators of corruption and handling conflicts of interest in the public sector. They have been completed by over 2,500 students so far.
In 2021, the Centre continued to develop the Anti-Corruption Portal. The number of its users increased by 50 per cent if compared to 2020. Besides the regular update of the existing sections, new materials were added to the Portal: a database of UN documents that will be a part of a future database of anti-corruption documents issued by international organisations, and infographic on the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2021 to 2024.
The experts of the Centre also worked on the development of a digital database of case law concerning the appeals against the imposition of disciplinary penalties for corruption offences. In 2022, database is planned to be published on the Portal; the access to it will be provided at least to the employees of the divisions on the prevention of corruption and other offences of federal public bodies and to the bodies responsible for the prevention of corruption and other offences in the Russian regions.
In addition to the participation in international research and educational projects, the Centre continued to provide expert support to the Russian delegation in international anti-corruption formats. Its experts participated in the 9th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, meetings of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group and the BRICS Working Group on Anti-Corruption Cooperation. Mr. Konov was re-elected as Chairperson of the IACA Board of Governors.