Russian officials may be banned from accepting "compromising" gifts
MOSCOW, July 10 (RAPSI) - The Russian Ministry of Labor has proposed that a rule prohibiting officials from accepting “compromising” gifts be included in the new code of ethics for government officials, RIA Novosti reported.
According to the code, “humanism and patriotism, honesty and social responsibility, professionalism, impartiality and objectivity” must be the main moral principles of a government official.
According to Dmitry Basnak, head of the Department of State Policy in Federal and Municipal Public Service, the proposed regulation would prohibit officials from accepting gifts and hospitality if it could compromise a public official and put his or her honesty and impartiality in question.
For example, if a public official receives a helicopter or a luxury car on his or her birthday, it is clear that such a gift would not have been given if he or she were not a public official. Therefore, there may be doubts about his or her honesty, Basnak explained. The same concerns participation in various events. For example, “being seen on oligarchs’ yachts or going on vacation at somebody else’s expense” could also hurt the reputation of a government official.
Speaking about professionalism, the authors of the code specify that a public official must “pay attention to recommendations of experts on issues related to professional activity.” Also, public officials are not allowed to use unverified facts when making decisions and “allow red tape or other actions to drag out directives and resolutions.”
In late May, it was reported that President Vladimir Putin obliged certain Russian officials, including the Security Council Secretary, business ombudsman and all heads of Russian regions, to report any gifts they received during business trips and other events, excluding stationery, to the Presidential Executive Office.