Corrupt action involves the receipt of additional income by an official as a result of abuse of his official rights and powers. The use of authority, connections, and privileges by an official in this way is punishable by law. In a simple sense, corruption is the receipt of a bribe in the form of money, material goods, or services by an official.
The fight against corruption consists of a complex of preventive measures and measures aimed at disclosing and stopping corrupt practices. Countries such as China, Sweden, and Singapore have achieved the best indicators in the anti-corruption policy.
Who is a corrupt official
Corruption in modern Russia continues to be a priority issue because such a phenomenon undermines the authority of the entire state. It destroys the economy and negates the legal protection of citizens.
If we consider corruption from the point of view of social science, it leads to the gradual destruction of state structures through their bribery. The main goal of a civil servant who accepts a bribe is to lobby exclusively for his enterprises.
The legislation interprets the concept of a corrupt official as a person endowed with powers of authority who, for personal benefit (material goods or services rendered), using his privileges, commits (or, conversely, does not commit) actions in favor of the person who gave the bribe. First of all, the topic of corruption concerns persons in public service.
A collective portrait of a corrupt official
The social portrait of the Russian corrupt official was compiled by the staff of the Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office. Summarizing the data of a social study conducted among three hundred persons prosecuted for corruption, experts paint a corrupt official as a man from thirty to fifty years old, holding a responsible position for a long time.
About the attitude of the offender to the deed, the research results are as follows:
- more than half hoped to go unpunished;
- thirty percent were sure of their innocence;
- ten percent thought they would be caught, but we're not afraid of responsibility;
- almost all of them justify their actions by the fact that “all officials take bribes,” and state measures to combat corruption are ineffective.
Types of corruption
All types of corruption offenses can be roughly divided into:
- grassroots (small);
- elite (large).
The simplest example of everyday corruption is the payment of a “fine” to the traffic police officers, “gratitude” to a teacher or a medical worker, “encouragement” of a notary's assistant for the prompt execution of papers.
Often, citizens do not even think that by their actions they encourage corruption and support corrupt officials. Of course, most of the offenses fall on the small sector. However, the corruption risks of the authorities "at the top" are much higher. Social status, authority, and authority give such officials special privileges. Such offenses are usually of a veiled nature, they are planned, and not every operative can investigate them. And the damage caused by corrupt acts of officials from the “highest echelons of power” amounts to millions and billions of rubles.
Corruption in numbers
The report of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation records 33 thousand criminal cases initiated for corruption. There is a slight increase in the rate of detection of such cases - by one and a half percent compared to the previous year. Corruption itself has also grown: the average bribe in 2015 was two hundred and twelve thousand rubles, and in 2017 - already four hundred and twenty-five.
Such a rise in prices for "corruption" is due to the increased attention of law enforcement agencies to this problem. Only employees of the Prosecutor General's Office recorded 5% more illegal actions compared to last year. Also, the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation has been supplemented with a new article that provides for liability for “petty bribes,” so more significant acts that pose a danger to society are included in the corruption statistics.
Increasing attention to corruption crimes is natural. This small percentage of offenses (1.5% of all committed criminal acts) is 1/7 of the losses caused as a result of all illegal actions.
The legislative framework
There are many federal laws and decrees of the President of the Russian Federation aimed at combating corruption. As a result of the mandatory filling in of declarations by all persons in the public service, it was possible to save the bureaucracy from some of the unscrupulous employees.
Many experts believe that to increase the effectiveness of combating corruption, it is necessary to strengthen responsibility for committing corruption offenses.
Anti-corruption measures are sanctioned by the state and include a set of measures. Removing certain officials caught on a bribe cannot solve this problem.
There are several approaches to anti-corruption policy:
1. Strengthening the punishment for corruption.
2. Raising salaries for civil servants.
3. Creation of competitive relations.
The implementation of the anti-corruption fight is carried out by external and internal methods. Internal protection presupposes a clear delineation of the powers of the authorities and control over the executors by the leaders of the authorities.
The external method assumes the possibility of appealing against the decision of a representative of the executive branch in court, as well as freedom of speech for the media.
Responsibility in practice
In 2016, the courts of the Russian Federation passed convictions against 13 thousand citizens prosecuted for corruption.
Paid voluntarily about 2.5 billion rubles to cover the damage caused by illegal corruption actions. For another 33 billion penalties, measures have been taken to ensure it.
Changes in the legislation have created a new preventive anti-corruption mechanism. There was a new restriction for the dismissed officials: they will not be able to get a job in the organization, whose activities were controlled during the civil service. If an official wants to find a job in such a company, he must obtain the appropriate permission, since there may be corruption underpinnings of such a choice. To exclude abuse of power, an amendment was made to the law.
The dismissal of the "guilty" official is also a measure of prevention of the anti-corruption struggle. Over the past year, the initiation of dismissal due to loss of confidence has tripled. In total, over the past year, about four hundred civil servants lost their jobs with such wording.
To prevent corruption, the responsibility of an official is not enough. Article 19.28 of the Administrative Code helps to prevent illegal actions. It provides for the responsibility of the enterprise. In addition to the criminal liability of a company employee, a large fine is imposed on a legal entity.
Such measures helped to replenish the budget by six hundred and fifty million rubles in fines for corruption imposed on four hundred and twenty enterprises.
Many believe that law enforcement should fight bribery. However, every conscientious citizen can help with this. According to the statistics of the relevant ministries, citizens have become much more likely to file complaints about the illegal corrupt actions of officials. Thus, the number of complaints in 2017 increased by seven percent compared to last year and amounted to about fifteen thousand complaints. The number of reviewed applications also tripled.
Corruption has no borders, and the issue of bringing to justice those who have taken refuge abroad continues to be relevant. The only way to solve this problem is to conclude agreements at the international level. As of 2017, the Russian Federation has signed over seventy agreements on cooperation in combating corruption with representatives of sixty states.
Russia's report on the implementation of the recommendations of the third round at the seventy-third meeting of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in October 2016 was positively adopted. Currently, the Russian Federation is going through the fourth stage of assessing the prevention of corruption acts among representatives of law enforcement, judicial and legislative authorities.