All gifts received by Russian civil servants will be appraised
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a governmental resolution ordering an appraisal of all of the gifts received by the country's civil servants during official events.
The government's press service said, citing the document, that Russian civil servants will be required to report all of their presents within three days after they were received or no later than three days after a civil servants return from an official trip. All of these gifts will be appraised by employees of an organization authorized by the state.
The value of each gift will be "calculated using the market price valid on the date when the gift was reported, or a price set for a similar material valuable item in comparable conditions."
These appraisals will be conducted by a "commission or a panel."
The list of presents does not include stationery items provided to civil servants during an official event in order to enable them to fulfill their professional duties, as well as flowers and valuable gifts that were presented as a bonus.
If a gift costs less than 3,000 rubles ($90), which is the maximal price of gifts that civil servants are allowed to accept in accordance with a federal law, this present will be returned to the civil servant in question. The state may decide to sell valuable items if they cost more than 3,000 rubles ($90).
All of the proceeds earned from selling such items will be transferred to an appropriate budget.
At the same time, civil servants will be given two months to decide whether or not they want to buy their presents back from the state.
If civil servants refuse to do so, the future of these gifts will be decided by the state, which may either allow some state-controlled organizations to keep these presents or may put them up for sale, should such a need arise. If a gift is not sold at the first attempt, it may be put up for sale again or may be transferred to a charity.
However, if a gift worth more than 3,000 rubles ($90) is unable to find a new owner, a decision may be made to "dispose of it."
Russian presidential chief-of-staff Sergei Ivanov announced in early December that the country's government was drafting a resolution that would regulate the procedure for handling presents received by civil servants.
"Regrettably, the idea of offerings has deep roots in the centuries-old conscience of our people. I believe that it is necessary to put an end to this "Asian-style" approach," Ivanov said.