Why do they give bribes in Tatarstan? “Because everyone does that, that's how it works”

800 corruption-related crimes were detected in Tatarstan in the first half of this year. The amount of damage is more than 230 million rubles

The number of cases of corruption in Tatarstan increased by 19% in the first half of 2021, the Office of the President of Tatarstan on Anti-Corruption Policy reports. This is also associated with the increased work on detecting crimes and with the increased desire of unscrupulous officials to take bribes. A growth of corruption crimes in Tatarstan has been noted in the following areas: healthcare — registration of disability, assistance in avoiding military service, corruption in the private sector — commercial bribery. There is an increase in crimes in the field of construction and housing and communal services. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

3 officials dismissed in 6 months due to loss of trust

According to the law enforcement agencies of Tatarstan, the amount of damage for the current year is more than 230 million rubles. More than 100 million rubles were reimbursed, 800 corruption-related crimes were detected — this is 19% more than in the same period last year — as well as 624 crimes against state power and breach of contracts of service.

The chief adviser of the Office of the President of Tatarstan on Anti-corruption Policy, Salavat Rakhimov, in a conversation with journalists, linked the increase in the number of detected crimes both with the improvement of the work of law enforcement officers and with the increase in the number of corruption facts.

“There is no clear answer — whether law enforcement officers have become better at working or there is more corruption — there is no answer. We are concerned about these figures and will continue to analyse them," the official said.

The number of crimes in the healthcare sector has increased significantly, Rakhimov states.

“Corruption risks take place in the activities of representatives of medical institutions engaged in the provision of medical services, the issuance of documents that allow, among other things, to register a disability, get an exemption from military service, or issue a temporary disability," Salavat Rakhimov explained.

Corruption is also growing in the private sector — these are crimes such as fraud, commercial bribery, abuse of official authority.

An increase in corruption crimes has been recorded in the field of construction and housing and communal services. Most often, the law is violated in the process of submitting orders, when concluding contracts for accepting and paying for work performed.

Number of crimes in the healthcare sector has increased significantly, Rakhimov states. Photo: tatar-inform.ru

“The most severe measure is dismissal due to loss of trust," explains Rakhimov. “Such person has no right to hold certain positions in the authorities for 5 years. Last year, only two people from the republic were included in the relevant register in connection with dismissal for loss of confidence (the register is maintained at the federal level and is publicly available), and this year three people have already been dismissed with this wording.”

As an example — the “forgetfulness” of obligations for 104 million rubles:

“The deputy of the rural settlement in the Zelenodolsk municipal district did not indicate income (almost 300,000 rubles), bank accounts, forgot to specify urgent financial obligations in the amount of 104 million rubles. Another case — a deputy in a rural settlement in the Aktanyshsky municipal district refused to provide information on income, did not comply with the requirements of federal legislation, for which he was prematurely deprived of his deputy powers.

And the third case occurred in the Nizhnekamsk municipal district — the deputy hid income in the amount of 360,000 rubles, did not indicate his participation as a founder in four commercial organisations, did not indicate income from the sale of two KAMAZ trucks. And he sold one of them for... 10 rubles. We made a request, the amount was different — 250,000 rubles. Also, the deputy did not indicate the presence of land plots in the property, including one with an area of 3,7 hectares.

Tatarstan citizens have the problem of corruption in the penultimate place

The system of anti-corruption monitoring studies uses sociological research, said Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Tatarstan, Head of the Department of Socio-Economic Monitoring Roman Amirkhanov. The work on the organisation and conducting of sociological surveys of the population has been carried out annually since 2005. More than 3,000 respondents participate in the surveys. By the results of the survey, residents of the republic are most often concerned about high prices in markets and shops, employment problems and low wages, Amirkhanov said.

Only 5,9% of respondents point to the problem of bribery and abuse of officials. The problem of corruption is in the penultimate place.

In 2020, the share of respondents who got into a corruption situation at least once during the year was 8,6% or every 12 respondents — and in 2010, according to the results of the survey, domestic corruption affected every fifth resident.

The most common reasons why residents of the republic give bribes to officials turned out to be the desire to achieve favour and “because everyone does it, that's how it works”. “Therefore, it is necessary to change the worldview of residents," the deputy minister concluded.

Most common reasons why residents of the republic give bribes to officials turned out to be the desire to achieve favour and “because everyone does it, that's how it works”, Amirkhanov stated. Photo: mert.tatarstan.ru

According to the survey participants, in order to eradicate corruption, it is necessary to tighten the legislation and strictly control the expenditure of budget money — this is indicated by every second respondent. Residents also believe that it is important to increase the legal literacy of the population, increase wages for employees, employees of budgetary spheres. Every third respondent believes that to defeat corruption, you need to start with yourself and your loved ones, develop an intolerant attitude to corruption.

How to fight corruption in the field of education

Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan — Head of the Department of Supervision and Control in the Field of Education Ramis Muzipov told which areas in the field of education are most susceptible to corruption risks. In his opinion, corruption is most often observed when applying to educational organisations: kindergartens, schools, colleges, universities. Corruption is also observed during the state final certification, extortion in schools and kindergartens is not uncommon, there are cases of abuse of official powers — when, for example, officials charge bonuses to their relatives, friends working in the organisation, because of violations of the procedure for providing paid educational services.

During this half-year, 482 citizens' appeals were received, including 92 appeals on corruption in the education sector of the republic. The number of corrupt appeals decreased by 6% of the total number for the same period last year. They apply because of extortion, collecting funds for the needs of schools, repairing premises.

As measures of struggle, the official noted digitalisation, strengthening of the material and technical base — in order to exclude extortion from parents. “Our education is free, and parents do not have to pay for strengthening the material and technical base," Muzipov says.

Since 2012, on the electronic portal, you can apply for enrollment in kindergarten, get in the electronic queue. This service made it possible to reduce corruption in kindergarten enrollment by a multiple, almost completely.

“Complaints still persist, but they are associated with slow movement in the queue at the kindergarten. To date, 94% of all interested people are provided with kindergartens.”

According to Ramis Muzipov, corruption is most often observed when applying to educational organisations: kindergartens, schools, colleges, universities. Photo: obrnadzor.tatarstan.ru

Since this year, the electronic portal has a service for enrolling children in the first grade. Starting next year, the same service will be available for admission to secondary vocational education institutions.

For the first half of 2021, 25 employees were brought to disciplinary responsibility, including 4 school directors, 2 deputy directors, 13 school teachers, 2 heads of kindergartens, 2 educators, Muzipov added.

In more detail, the deputy minister focused on how to deal with violations during the Unified State Exam — video surveillance is organised: out of 1,500 classrooms, 970 are equipped with IP cameras. Next year, all points of passing the Unified State Exam will be equipped with them. At each point of passing the Unified State Exam, a metal detector is installed so that it is impossible to bring cell phones, smart watches and micro-headphones to the exam. They attract public observers.

“This year, we started monitoring the monitoring system of sites where micro-headphones are sold. We send this information to law enforcement agencies, since the sale of micro-headphones and micro-cameras is prohibited.”

We monitor students' visits to these sites, form them into a risk group and carry out preventive work with them, inform parents and teachers so that they do not use such equipment during the exam.

Ekaterina Guzanova
Tatarstan