29 May 2018 13:31

Russian govt proposes barring foreign-agent NGOs from anti-corruption examinations - bill

MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) - The Russian government has proposed a number of measures to bar foreign-agent NGOs and certain categories of Russian citizens from participating in anti-corruption examinations; a relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday.

The bill, which has been published in the State Duma's database, "would prohibit citizens with outstanding or unexpunged convictions or who have been dishonorably discharged from participating in independent anti-corruption examinations of normative legal acts (drafts of normative legal acts)."

Similar bans would be imposed on international and foreign entities and non-profit organizations designated as foreign agents.

Members of executive agencies and authorities, including those of Russian constituent territories and local self-government, would not be able to participate in independent anti-corruption examinations, either.

Amendments would be made to Article 5 of the Federal Law on Anti-Corruption Examination of Normative Legal Acts and Drafts of Normative Legal Acts.

An explanatory note said that the bill will limit the access of some categories of individuals and legal entities to the official status of independent experts accredited by the Justice Ministry.

"The prevention of influence of those legal entities [foreign-agent NGOs] on social and political institutes of Russian society is a priority of the authorities aimed at protecting the fundamentals of the constitutional system, the ethics, rights, and lawful interests of Russian citizens, as well as Russia's national interests, defense capacity, and security, and maintaining the public peace," the note said.

The government expects the bill to improve the accreditation of individuals and legal entities requesting the status of independent anti-corruption experts.