Labor ministry prepares bill on blacklisting civil servants for ‘losing trust’

RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pesnya
A fresh bill seeks to set up an official list of people sacked from the civil service over graft and unethical behavior, to make it more difficult for them to get a new job.

According to the draft, prepared by the Russian Labor Ministry and posted on the official web portal for public discussion, the new rules will apply to civil servants at federal and municipal level as well as military personnel. It will also apply to workers in law enforcement agencies, state corporations and other state organizations such as the Central Bank.

The sponsors of the bill explained it was necessary because people fired from service “because of loss of trust” might try to conceal the real reason of their sacking when they look for another job.

Russian law doesn’t limit the employment opportunities of people fired because of corruption or violation of ethical norms, with the exception of cases when such limitations are ordered by court (usually it’s a ban to hold senior managerial posts for a certain period of time). Although employment history is registered in the so called “labor book” – an official document handed over to the employee when he or she leaves the job – it’s still possible for dishonest people to conceal the reason they were fired.

The blacklist would allow future employers to receive full and truthful information about applicants and “form an objective opinion about their personal qualities,” reads the explanatory note accompanying the bill.

The bill dictates the information will be available to federal state bodies, but it isn’t clear whether the general public would also have access to the blacklist.

In early December, the head of the Russian presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, told the press that 3,700 civil servants had been officially remanded after checks into their income reports in the first half of 2014. Out of these, 162 people were fired due to loss of trust. Over the same period, 500 criminal cases were started against law enforcers, customs officers and court bailiffs on corruption charges.

In early December last year, President Vladimir Putin drafted a new anti-corruption bill, proposing correctional labor be used as punishment and a decrease in fines for minor offences.