In the past week, two notable changes have been proposed to anti-corruption legislation in Russia. 1. Companies Guilty of Corruption May be Barred from Government Contracts According to a recent article in the business daily Kommersant, the Russian government may soon amend anti-corruption legislation to bar companies guilty of bribery from participating in government tenders. Russia currently does not have a debarment procedure in place. The proposed amendment would create a federal registry to list companies ineligible to sell products through state tenders. According to the report, the bill would contemplate such companies limited access to government tenders for companies that cooperate with investigations. The report did not indicate the duration of potential debarment nor whether Russia would recognize judgments from other jurisdictions where companies have been found guilty of corruption in connection with bribery in Russia. 2. Increased Whistleblower Protections Ilya Kostunov, an MP from the United Russia party, has proposed amending anti-corruption legislation to implement greater protections for whistleblowers in government agencies. Under current law, whistleblowers who have been wrongly terminated can be reinstated by a court order, but their managers are not sanctioned for the wrongful termination. According to the proposed amendment, wrongful termination or disciplinary action against whistleblowers who reported corruption in government agencies will lead to termination of relevant managers, regardless of rank. The report did not provide much detail on the proposed amendment, nor indicate whether these protections will be extended to whistleblowers in the private sector.
Andrew Okhotin is an associate in Baker McKenzie’s Compliance & Investigations Practice Group in Washington DC. He is experienced in compliance-related matters. Mr. Okhotin focuses his practice on corporate compliance. He has assisted a Swiss freight-forwarding company in an internal investigation of its business operations in the former Soviet Union with an emphasis on compliance with FCPA and the US anti-money laundering laws. He has also assisted a global pharmaceutical company in conducting an internal investigation into compliance issues of its Russian subsidiary with Russian competition law.