How to combat corruption?

Combating corruption is joint work of several state authorities for the prevention, suppression and detection of offences related to office. For a better performance of the aforesaid activities the Government of the Republic has drawn up anti-corruption strategies for 2004-2007 and 2008-2012, the execution of which is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice.

  • The main tool in prevention is raising people's awareness through different publicity campaigns and other means of public communication. It also involves training of persons who work in areas vulnerable to corruption, providing them with guidelines on how to prevent and combat corruption.
  • Suppression can be viewed as devising anti-corruption legislation that provides restrictions on employment, activities and procedures which are allowed for officials. An additional measure of suppressing corruption is declaration of economic interests, which has to ensure supervision that an official has not developed corrupt relations or does not possess assets obtained through income derived from corrupt practices.
  • Detection consists in proceeding an offence pursuant to the Anti-Corruption Act or the Penal Code. It can comprise misdemeanours for violating the restrictions on employment and activities or procedural restrictions as well as crimes: for example in giving, arranging receipt or accepting gratuities or a bribe.

Role of the Estonian Security Service in anti-corruption combat

By nature corruption crimes are concealed and mutually agreed upon, which makes it very difficult to disclose them. As a rule, only two persons know about the act of corruption - e.g. the one who accepts and the other who grants the bribe. As both parties gain personal profit from the act and the interests of third persons will be most likely damaged, the information will remain with them. Law enforcement authorities use various investigation techniques to trace corrupt agreements which are difficult or even impossible to notice in daily life. In addition to bringing offenders to light, in the case of corruption crimes the detection, pursuit and seizure of the proceeds of crime is essential

The bodies conducting the proceedings of corruption offences are police prefectures and the Estonian Internal Security Service. The Estonian Internal Security Service has been assigned the task of proceeding corruption offences committed by higher state and local government officials: President of the Republic, member of the Parliament, member of the Government of the Republic, Auditor General, Chancellor of Justice, judge, prosecutor or a higher official or high ranking police officer (official rank 5-10) of a government agency, Office of the Parliament, Office of the President, Office of the Chancellor of Justice, State Audit Office, court or the head of the local government of Tallinn, Tartu, Narva, Pärnu, Kohtla-Järve, Jõhvi.

Recommendations

Corruption should be reported if there is reasonable doubt that an official, to your knowledge, has for example violated an Act, misused power, demanded a gift or money in return for a decision or has committed any other offence. Corruption can be reported to the Estonian Internal Security Service 24-hour Confidential Hotline (+372) 612 1455.