Officials’ fictitious marriages to be checked when concluding governmental contracts

Officials’ fictitious marriages to be checked when concluding governmental contracts
The new initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development is aimed at combating corruption

The FSB and the Prosecutor General's Office will force customers to check the beneficiaries of contractors in public procurement.

According to Vedomosti, the Prosecutor General's Office and the FSB together with the Ministry of Economic Development will strengthen the control over public procurement by actively studying the relationship between customers and suppliers. The Ministry of Economic Development has already prepared a draft law, which obliges contractors to provide the customer with a complete list of company’s beneficiaries. Under the current legislation, only those who have at least 10% of the voting shares or share capital are considered to be beneficiaries.

Security forces and government officials are working on the expansion of the concept of conflict of interest, which could lead to contract termination. At present, it occurs if there is kinship or conjugal relation between the customer and the contractor. Now, at the suggestion of the security services, the fictitious marriages allowing to conclude lucrative contracts between the former husband and wife will be monitored.

According to the draft law, state customers themselves will check the affiliated persons. Various innovations in system of state orders, namely the data of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, the Federal Tax Service, registry offices and other structures, will help them.

This initiative is part of a plan to combat corruption, the report on which will be delivered to President.

The project has been coordinated with the Federal Antimonopoly Service. FAS Deputy Head Rachik Petrosyan said that the transfer of bidding into electronic form will be an important step in combatting unwanted contestants, helping to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.

According to General Director of the Center for Placement of State Orders Aleksandr Stroganov, the prohibition of state orders execution by relatives or former spouses does not guarantee the eradication of corruption. The expert believes the new initiative will cause trouble to honest participants of competition. In addition, this initiative may spare high-ranking officials the punishment, as they will accuse procurement department employees of malpractice due to failure properly check the company beneficiaries.

It should be noted that fictitious marriages remain one of the most popular ways to hide illegally acquired property for officials.

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