25 June 2019, Tuesday, 1:44
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The Minister of Agriculture Pointed at the Growth of Corruption in the Sector

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The Prosecutor General's Office passed on recommendation to the Minister of Agriculture and Food.

The Prosecutor General's Office passed on recommendation to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Anatol Khotska, based on the results of the inspection of the execution of the anti-corruption legislation in the system. Tut.by informs with reference to the ministry's press service.

The reason for the inspection was the dynamics of corruption in the agricultural sector: 138 crimes were committed in 2016, in 2017 - 200, 2018 - 235, in the first quarter of 2019 - 35.

"According to prosecutors, lack of preventive measures and strict control over financial and economic activities are the main reasons for this situation. Heads at various levels and other officials did not take extensive measures to identify and eliminate causes and conditions promoting corruption. The failure to obey labour and executive discipline initiated additions and forgery of documents to conceal mismanagement and omissions. Violations in ensuring the property safety have been revealed," the Prosecutor General's Office says.

It also noted that the inspection revealed that unjustified mediation and lack of training of procurement professionals had also contributed to corruption offences. For example, a former leading procurement engineer of Vitsebsk Plem Enterprise, was charged with the organization of overpriced equipment purchases via an intermediary structure.

Prosecutors noted that failure to take measures to recover accounts receivable led to corruption risks in contractual work and export deliveries. For example, as of the time of the inspection, 350 organizations and individual entrepreneurs owed more than Br3.28 million, overdue - more than Br2.3 million, to Mahiliou State Enterprise.

The Prosecutor's Office also criticized activities of the Anti-Corruption Commission, which, as a rule, only discussed results of internal control, approval of work plans, passing-on of law enforcement agencies' recommendations and other issues.

"Though the majority of corruption offences committed in the subordinate organizations of the Ministry are related to the procurement, including plant protection means, fodder and other goods, supplies of agricultural products without prepayment, the commission did not analyze reasons for the situation, did not develop and did not implement proposals to prevent it. The Ministry did not comply with the requirement to inform the anti-corruption bodies about revealed violations. In particular, the Prosecutor General's Office was not provided with information on officials who had violated the financial and property declaration requirement," the agency says.

The recommendation of the Prosecutor General's Office demands to keep liable all officials of the Ministry and subordinate organizations who have committed violations of the anti-corruption legislation, as well as those who have improperly performed their duties to combat corruption.

The Prosecutor's Office informed the government about violations revealed and measures taken.

It will be recalled that until recently Leanid Zaiats was Minister of Agriculture and Food. He headed the department for 7 years. After a memorable visit to the farms of Kupalauskaye Agroholding in Shklou district on March 26, which was extremely disappointing to Lukashenka, Leanid Zaiats was dismissed from his post in the evening of March 27. On 3 April he was appointed governor of Mahiliou region.

Anatol Khotska became the new Minister of Agriculture and Food.