22 May 2019, Wednesday, 3:06
For our and your freedom!

Now They Have The Certificate

Iryna Khalip

Will seminars on corruption save public servants?

Do you know the price of a certificate for fighting a corruption? It's only 75 rubles, by the way. It's even less than Shura Balaganov needed to feel happy. In my opinion, it's a good price. If all certificates you are required in every office, police and housing and communal service could cost only 75 rubles, there would be more money in the budget, and less corruption. However, it's a lie. Well, I got worked up about corruption. It requires more decisive measures. For example, something like trainings.

People I know and who have nothing in common with public organizations have weirdly found invitations of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to a seminar on fighting corruption. Judging by the mailout, the list was made up on a random choice basis. The letter says that the seminar "Countering corruption in organizations and institutions of all forms of ownership" is held for "specialists of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, executive and other bodies, departments, enterprises and organizations of the Republic of Belarus". It costs 75 rubles, but organizations which send three or more employees have a discount.

It's a good offer, creative approach, and early intervention. Guys of the Ministry of Natural Resources have acted with dispatch. When the authorities announce the countering corruption campaign in a specific ministry, it looks like the warning for others: cover up tracks, schemes, and chose new defendants, because we are about to come. It means that other agencies should have a plan B and demonstrate hard work. And the Ministry of Natural Resources, which is blamed for deforestation, construction sites in water conservation zones, ought to deal with it.

During the seminar the meaning of such terms as "bribe", "commercial bribery", "conflict of interest", and "personal agenda". The seminar will also train how to "carry out control over financial operations". It is also intended to supply a list of "corruptogenic positions". I wonder whether they announce the full list or it ends with a head of a department. And whether they tell what positions are protected.

In principle, it's not interesting. Like someone in the Ministry does not know the meaning of the terms mentioned above and does not know who is on the top of the corruption scheme. They surely know. But they participate in the seminar. After all, they are given a government-issued certificate. It means only 75 rubles and a day off - employees are officially allowed to take trainings without any losses; in addition, they have the corruption-fighter certificate in a pocket. And if someone comes to arrest them, they can demonstrate it. However, those who may come also have certificates, but it's worth trying. The countering corruption without certificates has lasted for 25 years. What if we can now use the seminar against the cross-country and inefficiency?

It's a great idea. Every ministry holds the seminar for its employees. And it pays 75 rubles for each. To learn terms by heart and tell horror life stories of corrupt officials from neighboring ministries and issue certificates. And to put a stamp on every certificate. A banquet is welcomed. And then public servants can boast: "I can do whatever I like, I have the certificate!"

However, members of a completely different institution can only baost of it.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org