The International scientific-practical conference "Ethical aspects of prevention of legal and corruption risks in the public and corporate sector" was implemented on 15 April
The conference was organized by the laboratory together with the HSE Faculty of Law as part of the XXII April International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development. The meeting was moderated by Dina Krylova, Head of the Laboratory for Anti-Corruption Policy, Entrepreneur`s rights in the area of anti-corruption Public Ombudsman, expert of the Council of Europe.
The format of the conference was mixed. Due to the restrictions associated with the pandemic, we were unable to invite everyone to participate in the event offline. Most of them were able to participate online.
Lev Yakobson, HSE vice-president, addressed the audience with a welcoming speech. He noted that the topic of the conference is significant and serious. The problem of corruption should become less relevant in society. In this regard, the report is very timely, because now society is going through a difficult period of the pandemic and in response to the challenges of this time, not only the best qualities of society are manifested, but also the worst. Therefore, the ethical aspect of preventing corruption risks and preventing corruption manifestations has become relevant. Lev Yakobson positively assessed the analysis carried out by colleagues and their recommendations. The Vice President also stressed that students who are being educated not only as professionals in the future but also as people with an active civic position and intolerance to corruption play a pivotal role in the work of the laboratory that prepared the report.
The Dean of the Faculty of Law and co-organizer of the event, Vadim Vinogradov, also addressed the participants with welcoming words, noting the relevance of the topic for the state and business in the context of their further interaction. He stressed that the development of business ethics in business and the prevention of corruption are actively discussed at various platforms. Interdisciplinary research on ethics and law has become one of the priority areas of scientific activity at the Faculty of Law.
Vitaly Belinsky, the representative of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Directorate of the Russian Federation (Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation), focused on the need for rapid response to situations caused by new challenges and threats, including those related to economic difficulties. For the public sector, these problems are associated with encroachments on funds that were allocated to eliminate the consequences of the pandemic. The pandemic has also created the additional ground for abuse in the field of medical products and personal protective equipment. Now the pandemic is gradually disappearing and the most typical manifestations of unethical behavior are conflicts of interest, misuse of government information, support for privileged companies and individuals who monopolize the market, and abuse of corrupt powers. Vitaly Belinsky also noted that the public domain consists not only of economic benefits and material values, but of ideals, values, and morality. If the ideal is distorted, then harm is done to the whole society, public morality, and trust in the state are reduced.
Sergey Pepelyaev , Managing Partner of Pepelyaev Group, scientific director of the Master's program "Compliance and Prevention of Legal risks in the corporate, public and non-profit sector" noted the relevance of ethical issues, the importance of forming a moral attitude to corruption. He also noted that law is not the only regulator of public relations, since, in our age of technology and openness, the law will strengthen, but will give way to morality and ethics as significant regulators of public relations. This trend can be observed in business, as many companies implement programs for sustainable ethical development.
Alexander Rusetsky, Deputy CEO for Compliance of the Autonomous Non-profit Organization "Moscow Directorate of Transport Services" in his speech spoke about the development of business ethics and anti-corruption compliance in his organization. The industry program for the development of anti-corruption compliance and business ethics in Moscow transport organizations is based on the best international and national practices. The implementation of this program will make it possible to build systematic management of anti-corruption activities in Moscow transport organizations based on common principles, policies, and approaches. Training and advanced training courses have been organized, which are a necessary element of increasing the level of employee involvement in the process of implementing business ethics and anti-corruption compliance.
Dmitry Babekin, representative of the Department of International Law and Cooperation of the Ministry of Justice of Russia, in his speech, spoke about Russia's participation in the working group on combating bribery of foreign officials in international commercial transactions of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The effectiveness of participation as the main goal is achieved through the interaction of various authorities within a single government delegation, among whose participants are representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Labor, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Investigative Committee, etc. In addition to achieving the applied goal of improving legislation and developing anti-corruption measures, the delegation's guideline is to lag behind the national interests of the Russian Federation and prevent image losses in the field of anti-corruption regulation.
Yuri Tikhomirov, Professor, corresponding member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, Director of the HSE Institute of Legal Studies, devoted his speech to the social causes of corruption. The professor defines corruption as a "social evil", primarily focusing on the personal causes and psychological aspects of corrupt behavior. The norms of law are not able to change the personality of a corrupt official in isolation from other social norms: ethics and morality. Yuri Tikhomirov raised the question about the role of motivation: external stimuli like fear of punishment will not lead to the eradication of the problem. Ethical means are more effective at the level of positive motivation – they transform the consciousness, way of thinking, and behavior of people in the right direction for the legislator.
Dina Krylova, Head of the HSE LACP, Entrepreneur`s rights in the area of anti-corruption Public Ombudsman, presented the report "Ethical aspects of the prevention of legal and corruption risks in the public and corporate sector", prepared by the laboratory's team of authors and which reflects the most relevant ethical aspects of activities in both the public and corporate sectors, legal and ethical aspects, and tools for the prevention of corruption risks in control and supervisory activities, fundamentals of ethical regulation of public service in Russia. Much attention is paid to the fragmentation and prospects for the development of ethical regulation in Russia, legal and ethical problems in the activities of law enforcement agencies and courts. A separate part of the report is devoted to ethical management in the corporate sector and the role of mass communication and social advertising in the development of ethical behaviors in society.
Alexey Ryabov, Head of the Expert Legal Center of the Presidential Commissioner for the Protection of Entrepreneurs' Rights, head of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Business against Corruption PSC, spoke about the mediation procedure. He noted that interest in it has greatly increased during the pandemic, as the number of disputes between business entities has increased. The pandemic has hit business extremely hard, especially small and medium-sized businesses, they have no funds left to conduct expensive arbitration processes. In this regard, mediation is vital and needs further development. It will make it possible to relieve the courts, as well as act as an essential element in the prevention of corruption in the judicial system. Mediation can be conducted not only in civil law disputes but also in disputes arising from administrative and other legal relations.
Marina Bludyan, First Vice-President of the All-Russian Public Organization SME "SUPPORT OF RUSSIA", spoke about corruption in the field of control and supervision. In order to systematically solve this problem, the reform of control and supervisory activities is being implemented, and the first results have been achieved. They can not always be evaluated positively, but they allow us to draw conclusions and make adjustments to the reform. To date, the regulatory guillotine has already shown the first results. At the moment, there is a unique process of "linking" the reform between the public, the business community, and the state. 44 working groups have been created, bringing together representatives of the state and business. No reform is possible without the participation of the business community.
Egor Artemenko, Project Manager of the Forum Analytical Center, expert of the HSE Anti-Corruption Policy Design and Training Laboratory, believes that from the point of view of combating corruption, there are 3 important components in control (supervision). The first is the institutionalization of all measures, actions, in which risk minimization occurs in such a way that they are either impossible or unprofitable for both sides. The second is an ethical approach. The third is the development of the entire civil society from the point of view of zero tolerance for corruption. If we talk about the components, then the regulatory guillotine played its role. The authorities and business have a tendency to dialogue. A businessman can at any time through his personal account find out the schedule of inspections against him, the direction and scope of these inspections, as well as possible sanctions against him in case of violations detected. Egor Aremenko also noted that problems still persist, currently, there are more than 540 permissive regimes that are implemented at all levels of government, and they are still opaque, which is a vast field for corruption.
Anton Stamplevsky, Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in the Tver region, Co-Chairman of the Business Russia NGO in the Tver region, began his speech with the question: "What if the decisions taken by civil servants do not take the form of a legal act?", thus setting the direction and subject of his message. Anton Stamplevsky gave several examples demonstrating situations in which statements and discussions of competent authorities did not take legal form and led to negative consequences for entrepreneurs. Such examples included: statements on state support for small-format trade and a declaration of the relevant law; a statement by the Prime Minister at a meeting of the State Council on a ban on disconnecting SMEs from utilities even in the event of arrears during a pandemic; an order from the President of the Russian Federation concerning changes in the criteria for classifying SMEs; statements on ensuring a "seamless" transition from the Unified tax System to other tax regimes; statements on credit support and on the fail-safe policy of banks. In conclusion, Anton Stamplevsky mentioned the gaps in the legal regulation of the placement of information structures, entailing the establishment of double standards. One of the highlights of Anton Stamplevsky's speech was his proposal to introduce disciplinary liability for unfulfilled public promises or prescribed recommendations of the Ministry of Labor.
Marina Shemilina, Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in the Primorsky Territory, presented the results of the survey as part of monitoring the business climate in the region. 386 entrepreneurs from 33 municipalities of Primorsky Krai took part in this survey. During her speech, Marina Shemilina noted that over the past 5 years, the share of entrepreneurs who do not face corruption violations has been growing. Nevertheless, Marina Shemilina noted that 33% of respondents associate the payment of informal payments either with a poor-quality regulatory framework or with a peculiar practice of its application by individual officials of the authorities. Separately, the speaker noted that in her practice as a Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs, she often faces the fact that the decisions taken by certain officials do not meet the initial goals declared by the country's top leadership, many officials make decisions without understanding the purpose and meaning of the adopted norms at the federal level.
Nikita Tuguchev, representative of the Department of State Policy in the field of state and Municipal Service, Anti-Corruption of the Ministry of Labor of Russia, in his speech stressed that the issues related to ethics are not only very important but also quite complex. Ideological attitudes are usually difficult to change instantly with the help of published law, it is rather a long and time-consuming process, which is also formed by the surrounding society. In addition, he mentioned the permissibility of using evaluative concepts in the law and the existence of some institutional frameworks.
Anna Palagina, Rector of the International Institute of Management of Business Associations (IIMBA) CCI of the Russian Federation. At the beginning of her speech, the speaker outlined the importance of mediation as a way to resolve the conflict and noted the importance of the ethical component in educational technologies. Anna Nikolaevna paid special attention to psychological aspects, the effectiveness of employees' activities, and possible emotional burnout. Since each employee implements personal and corporate agendas, when the personal agenda decreases, the effectiveness of the employee's activities decreases. Speaking about the formation of personnel and educational programs, Anna Nikolaevna noted the importance of ethical factors, the scale of decisions taken, and the stages of stay at work.
Eduard Ivanov, Professor of the Faculty of Law of the Higher School of Economics, Academic Director of the Master's program "Compliance and Prevention of Legal Risks in the Corporate, Public and Non-Profit Sector". In his speech, Eduard Ivanov highlighted the problems of business ethics and regulatory compliance, stressed the importance of dialogue between the business and the state in order to avoid further problems in the activities of organizations. The speaker also outlined the trends in the development of compliance in the post-century period. He believes that the importance of compliance will increase and play a decisive role in decision-making. At the end of his speech, the speaker touched upon the topic of increasing the impact of digitalization of all processes during the pandemic and the creation of new ways of money laundering through modern technologies. For future research, the following questions can be posed: Who will have the information? Who will control its distribution? What kind of society will it be possible to build?
Sergey Taut, Head of Legal GR and Compliance at Pepelyaev Group, Deputy Head of the HSE Anti-Corruption Policy Design and Training Laboratory. The speaker devoted his speech to the role of public institutions in the ethical settlement of legal and business conflicts. Sergey Taut drew attention to the fact that the Institute for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs operates on the territory of the Russian Federation, which is based on ethical principles and the practice of broad interaction between authorities and civil society institutions. This institute forms full-scale business protection and prioritizes issues of business ethics, business reputation, and expert approach. The second institute is the center of public procedures "Business against Corruption" - a public platform for the consideration of complaints of entrepreneurs about illegal pressure. In conclusion, the speaker noted that the work of public institutions is subject to scaling, legislative support, and development.
Ruslan Dolotov, Associate Professor of the Department of Public Law Disciplines of the Faculty of Law, lawyer of Feoktistov and Partners, expert of the HSE LACP, Expert of the Business against Corruption PSC. Ruslan Olegovich's speech was devoted to such a topic as an anti-corruption clause in a civil law agreement. This is a fairly rare phenomenon, but, as the speaker notes, it has often been encountered in practice lately. Article 13.3 of the Federal Law "On Combating Corruption" states that organizations are obliged to take measures to prevent corruption, and one of such measures is the introduction of an anti-corruption clause. The meaning of this clause is as follows: the company indicates that if a corrupt act is suspected, the contract may be terminated, and further recovery of damages is also possible. Today in Russia there is no single structured structure for the definition of anti-corruption clauses. The introduction of anti-corruption clauses into the contract, as well as into labor agreements, will allow companies to protect their interests. Now we see that anti-corruption clauses apply in the private sector if the company is international or when concluding a government contract. Summing up, Ruslan Dolotov concludes that this tool is gaining momentum in our country and is quite effective.
Artyom Tsirin, Acting Head of the Anti-Corruption Methodology Department of the ILCL, noted that the purpose of the anti-corruption strategy is to eradicate the causes and conditions that give rise to corruption. One of the reasons contributing to corrupt behavior and the spread of corruption, according to a study conducted by the University of the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia, is the low morale and ethical qualities of officials. This is the reason that needs to be influenced in order to move forward on the issue of eradicating corruption. During the speech, the experience of other countries in solving this issue was mentioned. As a solution to the existing problems, the gradual systematization, and isolation of anti-corruption regulations are proposed. Artem Tsirin noted the need to create existing training courses on ethical rules, including those aimed at preventing corruption.
Yaroslav Strelchenok, Head of the Bureau for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption (KNAB) Of the Republic of Latvia in 2011-2016, lecturer and doctoral student at the University of Turiba (Latvia). According to Yaroslav Pavlovich, anti-corruption activities are painstaking work that requires the help of not only state and municipal bodies, but also scientific communities and public organizations. One of the important aspects that international organizations pay attention to is the introduction of codes of official (ethical) behavior of civil servants into the practice of public administration. During the speech, the OECD anti-corruption action plan and GSAC's position in determining the conflict of interests and behavior of public officials were considered, consisting in the fact that the state's interest lies in the impartiality, professionalism, and objectivity of the performance of their duties by public servants.
Visentin Miriana, an international expert of the Council of Europe, noted in her speech that in a number of countries that have a full-fledged code of ethics for civil servants, it is not enforced. For this reason, the elements affecting the effectiveness of codes were studied and it was found that in many countries either there is no ethics commission, or the commissions are not effective due to the incompetence of employees. Lack of funding, low level of trust in the commission - these factors significantly affect the implementation of the code of ethical conduct. It was also revealed that there is often a lack of awareness about what behavior is ethical. In her speech, Mirianna noted that gender, among other things, has a great influence on compliance with ethical standards. According to the statistics given by the speaker, in the example of Germany, prosecutors carry out disciplinary violations three times more often than judges. Male prosecutors carry out violations three times more often than female prosecutors. Therefore, according to Miriana Vizentin, when we talk about the code of ethical conduct, we should look more broadly, because very often the decision is not in the code, but in other rules that indirectly affect the integrity of prosecutors.
Igor Bikeev, First Vice-Rector of Kazan Innovation University named after V.G. Timiryasov, editor-in-chief of the journal "Actual Problems of Economics and Law", highlighted his speech on ethical aspects of the legal interpretation of personal interest. Since the formulation of the concept of personal interest in relation to a conflict of interests is extremely complex, an error in understanding can cause consequences in the form of dismissal or criminal prosecution. That is why Igor Bikeev proposed a new interpretation of personal interest, which is considered as an opportunity to obtain benefits for the subject of a conflict of interest or another person who is closely related to him or her, or related to him by the property, corporate or other relations.