Measures To Counteract Corruption As A Threat To National Economic Security

Abstract

Corruption is a significant problem in Russia, affecting all levels of government, law enforcement, healthcare and education. Corruption has many manifestations and affects people’s lives in different ways, corrodes the social structure of society, and undermines people's trust in the political system, its institutions and leadership. Corruption also impedes the development of fair market relations and distorts competition. The consequences are fully manifested in Russian Federation, hindering effective socio-economic development, causing serious damage and posing a threat to the country's national and economic security. An extensive regulatory framework to combat corruption, the existence of a large number of government bodies and anti-corruption units should ensure the effectiveness of the fight against this phenomenon in Russia. However, there is a decrease in Russian Federation in the rating of the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Accordingly, a growing number of corruption-related crimes and scandals involving people at the highest echelons of power testify to the ineffectiveness of existing organizational and legal measures. An effective method of combating corruption is considered to be a complex combination of such approaches as: high salaries for public servants; creating transparency and openness of government spending; reduction of bureaucratization; application of smart technologies. The article discusses the main types of corruption individually or in combination, which are bribery, embezzlement, facilitation of procedures through material incentives, fraud, conspiracy, extortion, patronage. The recommendations formulated in the article to increase the effectiveness of the anti-corruption campaign in Russia should be aimed at editing and improving the existing regulatory legal acts.

Keywords: Corruptioneconomic securitynational securitythreat

Introduction

The phenomenon of corruption has been known for a long time and is often perceived as normal case in many countries (Nakajima, 2016). In Russia, this issue is considered a social problem that causes significant damage to the state authority. The problem of combating corruption is part of ensuring national security of the state, including economic (Tuliao & Chen, 2017). In addition, globalization, international cooperation and legal regulation has a very good impact, and the problem of corruption is discussed at a high level by developed countries of the world. So, at the 12th G20 Leaders' Summit, held in July 7–8, 2017 in Hamburg, it was decided to continue the fight against corruption through practical international cooperation, technical mutual assistance and the adoption of the G20 anti-corruption action plan 2017/2018. The G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2017/2018 is based on the following principles:

  • responsibility of individuals and legal entities;

  • public administration dealing with minimization of corruption in the public sector;

  • fight against corruption in the field of trade in wild animals and plants;

  • the call of international sports organizations to fight corruption;

  • compliance with the principles of the fight against corruption in the customs sphere;

  • call for all G20 countries to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Every year, the non-governmental international organization for the fight against corruption and the study of its level, Transparency International, compiles a rating of countries according to the corruption perception index by analysts, entrepreneurs, international financial and human rights experts. The index reflects the level of corruption in the country from the maximum (0 points) to its absence (10 points) (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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At the moment, Russia is listed the 137th with 28 points. Over the past 7 years, the situation has remained virtually unchanged. The situation in the country has not changed despite the ongoing adoption of anti-corruption measures.

Problem Statement

Despite the continuous improvement of anti-corruption legislation, the problem remains difficult to solve due to the fact that it covers and comes from all sides - both citizens, businesses, and government bodies. Corruption causes significant harm to the socio-economic and political development of a society, threatens its national security and stability, and at the same time goes beyond national borders (Collier, 2016).

Corruption not only destructively affects society, but also harms the country's economy as a whole. The economic consequences are as follows: revenues to the country's budget are declining, which is why prices increase, competition conditions are violated in connection with obtaining illegal advantages (Andersen, 2015).

Research Questions

The research subject is corruption, the manifestations of which are extremely multifaceted. Consider the categories of corruption (Table 2 )

Table 2 -
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According to the table above, the main types of corruption are considered as bribery, embezzlement, facilitation of procedures through material incentives, fraud, conspiracy, extortion, patronage. Cases when they occur in combination are not uncommon, which means that methods of combating corruption must be relevant and universal.

The fight against corruption is one of the priorities of the state, since all sectors of society are seriously affected by its negative consequences. Among these consequences Spitsnadel (2018) distinguishes the following:

  • state budget crisis due to foreign loans and non-payment and underpayment of taxes;

  • political instability and threat of democracy;

  • reduction of state security against external and internal threats;

  • the decline in the credibility of law enforcement agencies, the loss of trust and respect for them from a significant part of the population;

  • reduced efficiency of law enforcement agencies;

  • damage to the mechanism of competition and the functioning of the economy as a whole;

  • a decrease in the efficiency of economic development, which leads to a stratification of the population in terms of income and expenses, and also leads to a decrease in living standards in the country;

  • moral decomposition of society as a whole and of each of its members due to a significant simplification of life when included in corruption relations;

  • violations in the process of forming democratic institutions of society due to political corruption (Spitsnadel, 2018).

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the work is to develop anti-corruption recommendations for state authorities.

Research Methods

Theoretical and empirical methods of cognition applied in the study are the following: analysis, systems approach, classification, comparison, logical and content analysis, search, systematization and processing of information.

Findings

In determining methods of combating corruption, we pay attention to the recommendations of the World Bank, since they take into account global trends and experience in this area.

1. Corruption in our time is very common and occurs everywhere, almost everyone encounters it in life. That is why it is so important to identify, analyze and generally understand the mechanism of corruption to develop effective, smart and relevant solutions and answers.

2. Creating opportunities for ordinary citizens to fight corruption: creating a system that provides citizens with appropriate tools for their participation in the work of the government, setting priorities, problems and solutions.

3. Reducing bureaucratization: combining formal and informal processes to change the behavior of both groups of participants and independently monitor progress (government work with non-governmental groups).

4. Using technology to create dynamic and continuous exchanges between key stakeholders: government, citizens, business, civil society groups, the media, academia, etc.

5. Investing in various institutions and political bodies – sustainable improvement of how the government provides services is possible only if people in these institutions approve sound rules and practices that allow changes that make the best use of proven traditions and heritage. In general, imported and non-adapted models often do not work.

6. Alignment of anti-corruption measures with the help of market and social forces. Adopting integrity standards is a smart business decision, especially for companies interested in doing business with other development partners.

7. A proportionate, timely and fair punishment of corruption is a vital component of any effective anti-corruption effort.

8. The fight against corruption at the global and local levels. Identification of citizens involved in corruption at local, national, international and global levels, according to the extent of corruption.

9. Building capacity to develop anti-corruption efforts for those who need it most. Countries that suffer from various problems as conflicts and violence are often those with the least amount of domestic resources to fight corruption. Determining how to use international resources to support and maintain good financial management in these countries is an important method of combating corruption.

For a more effective fight against corruption in Russia, it is necessary to pay attention to the experience of other countries (Jiahong, 2016), and apply this experience, adjusted for existing conditions in the country (Hauser, 2019; Park, 2003).

The topic of corruption in our country and its resistance is very popular among experts and the public in view of the constant implementation of corrupt practices in the political, social, economic spheres. Bribery applies to all stages of production, interrupts the unity of economic systems, reduces the profitability of budgets of all levels (Kihl et al., 2018).

Corruption is associated not only with a significant withdrawal of resources from established circulation, but also with changes in financial, statistical, tax reporting, and a decrease in the transparency of the state economy. A considerable potential is concentrated in corruption, which could become a source of economic growth.

Recently, corruption has evolved from a trivial criminal problem to a key threat to Russia's national security. According to the analysis of the Prosecutor General’s Office in Russian Federation, the capacity of the corruption market reached $ 240 billion.

Corruption has become commonplace for many, as evidenced by a summary of population surveys.

The tasks of guaranteeing security and reducing corruption are handled by state bodies of all countries of the world (Rose-Ackerman, 2015; Wu & Lan, 2018). These issues are considered relevant as of their vital importance.

Corruption discredits public authorities and is an obstacle to the development of the economy, the growth of living standards of the population, and the development of civil society (Rijckeghem & Weder, 2016). Corruption in the country is one of the main obstacles to attracting foreign investment, modernizing industry.

Further adjustments to the anti-corruption policy and the specific tasks of its implementation should take into account the features of the current stage of development. It is associated with the emergence of new threats to the national security of our society and the state, unprecedented foreign policy and economic pressure on our country and the unfolding of a full-scale information war against our society.

In general, the legal and organizational foundations of the fight against corruption have been formed in Russia, namely, the adoption of a number of Federal laws, as well as Presidential Decrees, the approval of the National Plan and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, the formation of the Presidential Council on Combating Corruption.

Corruption can be partially destroyed only under the condition of universal cohesion, with the active cooperation of all parties, including state bodies as well as all citizens of the country.

Active measures to combat corruption include the following actions: to eradicate conditions that contribute to the development of bribery. This includes low salaries of ordinary officials, a lagging level of legal literacy, a lack of interest on the part of local authorities in the fight against corruption, and insufficient control by law.

To eliminate all these components, you must:

  • form negative behavior in relation to corruption;

  • taking responsibility by employee as well as organization where bribery occurred;

  • to involve society in the fight against corruption, to develop a line of behavior in which a citizen immediately contacts the relevant authorities and delivers information about a bribe.

Regardless of the historical era the fight against corruption remains one of the main problems in any society and state. In Russia, the fight against corruption has been put forward as a priority. Accordingly, there are National Anti-Corruption Strategy and National Anti-Corruption Plan developed, which are updated every two years and outlines the main directions of the fight against corruption.

Also, nowadays new anti-corruption legislation has been formed as a system for the prevention of corruption crimes, control over the income and expenses of civil servants and other accountable categories of officials. Anti-corruption propaganda is monitored and conducted on an ongoing basis which combat manifestations of corruption, prevent conflicts of interest, and conduct other preventive measures.

Conclusion

The main basis for improving the fight against corruption should be new legislative proposals, primarily criminal law, and new organizational and preventive measures. The main approaches and suggestions are the following:

1. The basis of the fight against corruption should remain criminal sanctions and their tightening. At the same time, the preventive function is performed by criminal law as well as by other organizational and preventive measures that are not fully involved today. This is a broad integrated approach.

2. Modern anti-corruption policy should not be reduced only to the fight against bribery. Widespread other corruption manifestations in the form of embezzlement and appropriation of budgetary funds, fraudulent operations should be recognized as a priority in the fight against corruption.

3. It is necessary to adopt legislative definitions of the concepts of corruption crime. Based on the generalization of many scientific points of view and the identification of all characteristic features, the concept of corruption crime should be included in the General Part of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation, defining its criteria.

4. In order to intensify the fight against corruption, it is necessary to use international experience and implement the consistent implementation of Convention norms, especially the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption 2003, ratified by Russia, in particular:

a) introduce into the anti-corruption legislation new concepts of illegal enrichment and non-property services provided by this Convention.

b) introduce the concept of public official in the Criminal Code of Russian Federation.

In terms of organizational and preventive measures to combat corruption, it is necessary:

  • create the Unified Federal Register of Persons obliged to report income and expenses, and introduce the procedure for the mandatory use of information from the specified register, which will allow to exclude the concealment by corrupt officials of unaccounted income and expenses;

  • to more thoroughly study the issue of responsibility for the concealment of information by civil servants and other categories of officials about their property;

  • improve the mechanism for the return of property obtained by criminal means and taken out of the country. The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation also takes a similar initiative.

Thus, the proposals put forward will fight corruption more effectively at the present stage.

The fight against corruption is becoming more relevant for Russia than ever. In conditions when the country's economy suffers from Western sanctions, it is important to fill the state budget, the availability of reserve funds, and preventing squandering of public funds. Certainly, foreign experience in the fight against corruption, including those embodied in international law, should be taken into account nowadays in Russia and will serve as an important component of ensuring its national security in the difficult conditions of today's military-political confrontation between the West and Russia.

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Publication Date

27 February 2021

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National interest, national identity, national security, public organizations, linguocultural identity, linguistic worldview

Cite this article as:

Stepanenko, Y. S., & Mizaev, M. M. (2021). Measures To Counteract Corruption As A Threat To National Economic Security. In & I. Savchenko (Ed.), National Interest, National Identity and National Security, vol 102. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 975-982). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.02.121