Supreme Court Overrules Attempts to Fine Bureaucrats

Supreme Court Overrules Attempts to Fine Bureaucrats

Published: April 20, 2011 (Issue # 1652)

The Supreme Court has rejected City Hall’s attempt to fine officials for misappropriation of budget funds.

Bureaucrats from the city’s Avtovo administrative district are challenging a law concerning administrative violations relating to the St. Petersburg budget introduced in June 2010 that will result in fines being levied for misspending of state budget funds.

Civil servants could face fines of 4,000 rubles to 5,000 rubles ($141 to $176) and legal entities could face fines from 40,000 rubles to 50,000 rubles ($1,410 to $1,763). Failure to return public finances within agreed deadlines could result in fines of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles and 40,000 to 100,000 rubles, respectively. Similar measures will be applied in cases of unlawful diversion of funds from the state treasury, as detailed in the administrative offences code of the Russian Federation.

At the end of 2010, the Avtovo administrative district challenged four out of seven points included in the law. “Calling officials to account for the misappropriation of state funds is the jurisdiction of the federal, not local authorities,” said Igor Rulev, former head of the district’s local administration.

An attempt by City Hall and the city’s Public Prosecutor’s office to appeal against the decision in the Supreme Court was unsuccessful. “Petersburg doesn’t have the right to allocate responsibility for legal aspects of the budget,” stated the court’s ruling, dated March 30. The Public Prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

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