This article gives details of new guidance on anti-corruption measures for organisations, particularly in relation to employment matters
In September and October 2019, the Russian Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (the ‘Ministry’) issued new sets of anti-corruption guidelines for companies. They are:
- Measures for Preventing Corruption in Organisations (‘Measures’);
- Recommendations on the Procedure for Assessing Corruption Risks in Organisations (‘Recommendations’);
- Memo on Establishing the Duties of Employees for Preventing Corruption, Employee Liability; and Incentive Programs (‘Memo’).
These guidelines complement and extend previous recommendations concerning anti-corruption measures in organizations developed by the Ministry in 2013.
Employers should be aware of the following key points.
1. Administrative liability
According to the Administrative Offences Code of Russia, administrative liability for bribery can amount to RUB 100 million. A legal entity can avoid liability if it has assisted in detection and investigation of violations.
The latest Ministry Measures and Recommendations provide guidelines to prevent corruption activity on behalf of a legal entity, and introduce the mechanism to expose and investigate violations. Together, they could substantially reduce the risks of corporate liability for bribery.
2. Measures to prevent corruption at an organisation
Organisations are encouraged to introduce certain key tools to prevent corruption. These activities should be systemic and consistent. In order to attain the goal of preventing corruption, the Ministry makes the following recommendations:
- develop and implement an anti-corruption policy;
- designate units/subdivisions and/or employees responsible for prevention of corruption;
- introduce a procedure for due diligence assessment of counterparties, to minimise corruption risks connected to potential business dealings;
- take measures to inform, advise and train employees;
- pay particular attention to information on cases of corruption that is provided by employees of the organisation and its counterparties;
- organise cooperation with law enforcement agencies, and other state bodies, to combat corruption;
- conduct regular monitoring of effectiveness of the implemented measures to prevent corruption;
- introduce other measures aimed at the successful prevention of corruption.
3. Assessment of corruption risks
The Ministry draws specific attention to algorithms to assess corruption risks, which are based on a company’s risk profile, and allow organisations to choose the specific measures that will need to put in place.
It is recommended organisations identify ‘critical points’ for each corporate business process, compile a summary of ‘critical points’, and identify possible corruption offences at each of these points.
4. Employee responsibilities, employment contracts and rewards
The Ministry recommends, including an explicit obligation on employees to combat corruption in employment contracts. The Ministry also recommends organisations create a logical system of sanctions for violation of this obligation, and that this be set out in employment contracts. The system must support anti-corruption standards and discourage all forms of corruption.
The Ministry suggests organisations incorporate rewards for employees who comply with anticorruption standards, or report violations as well as sanctions into this system. These can include bonuses, gifts, additional salary payments or personal approval of management and colleagues.. However, it is important to eliminate provisions that could encourage employees to commit offences that can subsequently be reported, to obtain benefits.
We recommend the implementation of the Ministry’s guidelines into internal policies, employment contracts and corporate procedures, plus the introduction of processes to demonstrate measures taken at the corporate level to reduce corruption risks.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.