The Russian Duma is considering amendments to the antibribery law to bring the country’s legislation into compliance with international principles of anti-corruption. One proposed amendment is the regulation of whistleblowing activity.
The Ministry of Labor, following a presidential decree, developed the draft amendment called “On the protection of persons reporting on corruption offenses.” The amendment would entitle a whistleblower of graft to remuneration up to 15% of alleged damages to the state budget if the report is confirmed. The maximum remuneration would be capped at RUR 3 million (roughly $50,000).
The whistleblower award would cover reports by a public official, defined in the amendment as any person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office of the state, whether appointed or elected, whether permanent or temporary. A publc official would also include any other person who performs a public function, including for a public agency or public enterprise. The whistleblower law does not extend to reports by the personnel of non-state employers.
Russia does not have a history of whistleblower rewards or protections. But in addition to the move by the Duma for a federal law, at least one regional government is also considering a whistleblower scheme.
The Novosibirsk region is considering a local law for remuneration up to 10% (capped at RUR 1 million max or about $16,500)) for reporting on corruption offenses. The regional law provides legal protections for whistleblowers. It also covers both official and non-official employers.
Kristina Furlet serves as compliance specialist in a Russian subsidiary of a global provider of telecom services.