Countering corruption is one of the priorities of the public policy and a most important part of work of the Russian Prosecution Service.
In Russia, the Prosecution Service is the principal authority for the enforcement and control over the implementation of anti-corruption legislation and ensuring strict compliance with it.
The Prosecution Service of the Russian Federation is a single federal centralized system of bodies exercising, on behalf of the Russian Federation, supervision over compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and enforcement of laws within its territory.
The prosecution bodies of the Russian Federation carry out anti-corruption activities in pursuance of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Federal Law No. 2202-I dated January 17, 1992 “On the Prosecution Service of the Russian Federation”, Federal Law No. 273-FZ dated December 25, 2008 “On combating corruption”, other federal laws and the National Anti-Corruption Plan approved by the President of the Russian Federation.
In conformity with Article 36 of the UN Convention against Corruption, specialized units for supervision over implementation of the anti-corruption legislation (special anti-corruption units or SACU) were established in 2007 within the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation and prosecutor’s offices at the level of constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
In order to guarantee their independence and autonomy of such units, a special procedure for appointment and dismissal, as well as a special procedure of bringing to disciplinary responsibility was established for their employees.
The appointments to the office are made after careful consideration within the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation of a candidate, who is to have at least five years of work experience in the prosecution service, to possess requisite professional expertise and to have an impeccable reputation. The candidates are selected by the special commission.
The SACU employees, both at regional and federal levels, shall be appointed by the decree of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation and may be brought to disciplinary liability only with the consent of his First Deputy.
Organizational and methodological management of SACU activity in the regions is implemented by the Department for Supervision over Implementation of Anti-Corruption Legislation of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the Department), whereas the operational management of employees of such units is carried out personally by the prosecutors of constituent entities of the Russian Federation and military prosecutors and prosecutors of other specialized units equated with them.
The Department is composed of senior prosecutors located in the country’s federal districts who carry out supervisory powers in relation to the public bodies at regional and interregional levels.
Thus, the system of prosecution bodies of the Russian Federation has an independent vertical structure designed to ensure an integrated approach to combating corruption and sustainable to possible external pressure on the part of the representatives of any branches of power. The guarantees of independence established for the employees of the SACU enable them to efficiently exercise their control functions over any authority regardless of its level.
The activity of Special Anti-Corruption Units or SACU is aimed at strengthening the rule of law, protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens, the rights and legitimate interests of legal entities (organizations), the interests of society and the state protected by law through implementation of various measures ensuring effective counteraction to corruption.
To this end, SACU performs its activity to ensure:
- prosecutorial supervision over the implementation of anti-corruption legislation;
- early prevention of corruption offenses by means of prosecutorial supervision, detection and eliminating causes and conditions thereof;
- prosecutorial supervision over criminal procedure activities carried out by the investigative bodies and over the implementation of legislation on intelligence and surveillance activities of the operational units of law enforcement agencies (with the exception of federal security service bodies);
- holding liable (as stipulated by law) persons guilty of committing corruption offenses;
- protection and recovery of rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens and organizations, as well as the interests of the Russian Federation, its constituent entities and municipalities protected by the law, violated as a result of corruption offenses, in criminal, civil, commercial and administrative proceedings within the limits of authority stipulated by the legislation;
- compensation for harm caused by corruption offenses.
In accordance with the tasks assigned, SACU performs the following functions:
- supervision over the implementation of anti-corruption legislation requirements in federal executive bodies, state authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, local governments, state corporations and organizations set up to perform the tasks assigned to the Government of the Russian Federation and federal state bodies, government bodies and heads of commercial and non-profit organizations;
- supervision over the implementation of legislation on the control over the conformity of expenses of persons holding public office positions and other persons with their incomes;
- anti-corruption evaluation of regulatory legal acts and their drafts;
- coordination of the activities of law enforcement agencies in the fight against corruption crimes;
- supervision over enforcement of criminal procedure legislation by the investigating authorities and over operational-search activity carried out by operational units of law enforcement agencies (with the exception of federal security service bodies) while detection corruption-related crimes and investigating criminal cases of this category;
- conducting public prosecution in criminal cases of corruption-related crimes, participation in the consideration of such criminal cases by the courts of appeal, cassation and supervisory instances;
- ensuring implementation of the powers of a prosecutor in civil, commercial and administrative proceedings;
- initiation of cases of administrative offenses, including against legal entities;
- monitoring and analysis of implementation of legislation on countering corruption, development of proposals for its improvement;
- participation in international cooperation in the field of combating corruption with international organizations and anti-corruption structures of other states;
- activities on the return from abroad of assets obtained as a result of corruption offenses;
- protecting the rights of citizens, state and organizations through compensation of damage caused by acts of corruption;
- anti-corruption education, legal education and generating in the society of an intolerant attitude towards manifestations of corruption.