Also, Federal Law, of 8 November 2007, No 257 – FZ, “On motor roads and the roads - related activities in the Russian Federation…” has changed the formulation of the issue of local importance previously worded as “the maintenance and building of roads for general use, bridges and other transport, and engineering installations within the boundaries of populated localities of a settlement…”. In the new version of FZ – 131, this issue of local importance is worded as follows: “the roads – related activities with regard to motor roads of local importance within the boundaries of populated localities of a settlement, and also the implementation of other powers in the sphere of the use of motor roads and the conduct of roads – related activities in accordance with the Russian Federation’s legislation”. Also, the Law defines the concept of “roads – related activities” and establishes an exact list of powers with respect to its implementation. As a result, it is specified that, apart from the construction and maintenance of roads, the competence of local self – government bodies should cover their designing and reconstruction, as well as capital and current repairs. Previously, it was formally unclear, in formal terms, as to who was to implement these powers, although in actual practice they were also implemented by local self – government bodies, provided that the local budgets had corresponding resources.
The expansion of the competence of municipal formations has taken place due to the introduction of additional rights and powers for local self – government bodies. In particular, in the sphere of community health protection, the local self – government bodies of municipal raions and city okrugs are vested with the right to establish, at the expense of local budgets’ revenues, an emergency medical service within the framework of health facilities. This provision of the Law expands the capacities of local authorities to provide timely medical assistance to the population.
The list of powers of local authorities was also expanded by the introduction of the power to organize the training, re – training, and advanced training of elected officials of local self – governments, members of local self - government elected bodies and deputies of the representative bodies of municipal formations, as well as to organize the professional training, re – training and advanced training of municipal officials and workers of municipal establishments. In fact, these amendments consolidate the powers which, in actual practice, have been used by local self – government bodies since the very beginning of reform.
Federal Law No 230 – FZ also increases the possibilities to delegate state powers to the municipal level.
In particular, the public authorities of RF subjects may delegate to local self – government bodies the powers concerning the provision of some social protection services to veterans, disabled persons and citizens awarded the “Honorary Donor of Russia” title. The delegation of these powers to the municipal level is authorized by the new provisions of the Federal Laws “On veterans”, “On the social protection of disabled persons in the Russian Federation”, and “On the donorship of blood and its components”.
Among the other alterations in federal legislation on local self – government, special attention should be paid to the amendments expanding the types of property authorized for ownership by municipal formations.
Municipalities of all types are now authorized to possess property intended for the development of small and medium businesses. This article makes it possible to retain in municipal ownership nonresidential premises, the renting – out of which, on the one hand, can become one of the measures in support of small and medium businesses and, on the other hand, represents a stable source of revenue for local budgets. However, it cannot be said that the adoption of this amendment has been timely, because by now many municipal formations have already privatized most of the property not classified as authorized by previously existing legislation.
Federal Law No 230 – FZ defines more precisely the issue concerning the ownership of the property objects created through state investments. The amendments to Federal Law, of 6 October 1999, No 184 – FZ “On the general principles of organization of legislative (representative) and executive bodies of state authority of the Russian Federation’s subjects” establish the responsibility of regional authorities to transfer, free of charge, into municipal ownership the assets created in the process of implementing projects aimed at developing the social and engineering infrastructure of municipal formations.
Most controversial is the introduction, in Law 131 – FZ, of article 18.1 concerning the assessment of efficiency of local self – government bodies, which envisages the possibility of allocation, at the expense of a RF subject’s budget, of grants to municipal formations aimed at assisting them in obtaining and (or) encouraging them to obtain the best possible values of the indices of efficiency. The list of indices should be approved in a procedure to be determined by the President of the Russian Federation. In fact, this article envisages that the activity of municipal authorities should be subject to assessment on the part of regional authorities, despite the fact that, according to the RF Constitution, municipal authorities are detached from the system of public authorities in the Russian Federation.
Review of Economic Legislation over December Tolmacheva I. V.
Among a number of Federal Laws adopted in December there is: Law, establishing legal basis for selfregulating organizations activity; changes made to the Law “On retirement pensions in the Russian Federation”; changes and addenda concerning legal regulation of joint-stock investment funds, managing companies, special depositaries, non-governmental pension funds and other entities of investment activity.
I. FEDERAL LAWS of the Russian Federation 1. “ON SELF-REGULATING ORGANIZATIONS” from 01.12.2007 No 315-ÔÇ Federal laws establishes legal basis for self-regulating organizations operation, their main functions, rights and duties.
It is the non-commercial organizations aimed at self-regulating and founded on membership principle, joining the subjects of entrepreneurial activity due to conformity of the branch of goods (works, services) production or the market of produced goods (works, services) or uniting the subjects of professional activity of some kind that are referred to as self-regulating.
Self-regulation is determined as independent and initiative activity that is carried out by the subjects of entrepreneurial or professional activity, whose aim is development and establishment of standards and rules for the activity mentioned as well as control for their fulfillment.
Self-regulation is carried out on conditions of voluntary association of the subjects of entrepreneurial or professional activity in self-regulating organization by branch characteristic or by the characteristic of professional activity of some kind. The subject carrying out different kinds of entrepreneurial or professional activity can be a member of several self-regulating organizations. A self-regulating organization should join no less than twenty five subjects of entrepreneurial activity or no less than a hundred subjects of professional activity of some kind.
Federal laws can envisage the cases for compulsory membership of subjects of entrepreneurial or professional activity in self-regulating organizations to carry out some kind of entrepreneurial or professional activity. For instance, in accordance with the Federal Laws “On insolvency (bankruptcy)” and “On appraisal activity in the Russian Federation” arbitrary managers and appraisers should be united in self-regulating organizations.
At the same time the Law does not apply to self-regulating organizations of professional participants of stock and shares market, shareholders of investment funds, management companies, special depositaries of investment funds, unit investment funds and non-governmental pension funds, housing stocking cooperatives, non-governmental pension funds, credit organizations, credit history bureau, whose activity is regulated by federal laws, controlling the corresponding kind of activity (clauses1, 2, 3 and 5 of the Law).
The main function of self-regulating organization is development and adoption of the standards and regulations for entrepreneurial or professional activity, whose requirements are to be followed by all the members of self-regulating organization. Standards and regulations should correspond to the existing legislation, rules of business ethics and should envisage the measures of disciplinary control execution to the members of the organization for violation of these standards and regulations. Representation of the organization mem bers’ interests in their relationship with the government bodies and local governments is also the function of the self-regulating organization. To implement such a function self-regulating organizations have a right to:
call in question according to the procedure established by legislation acts, decisions, actions and absence of actions of governmental authorities and local government that violate rights and legal interests of an organization or its members; take part in the discussion of federal laws projects, connected with the subject of selfregulation, ask government bodies and local government for information necessary to execute functions, delegated to it by the federal laws.
Arbitrary settlement of disputes between the members of an organization and between them and consumers of goods, jobs and services, produced by them or other persons in accordance with the legislation on arbitrary courts also belongs to function of self-regulating organizations.
Besides, a self-regulating organization can set up professional training, certification of the employees of organization’s members or goods, services, jobs, produced by them if not stated otherwise by federal law, as well as execute other functions, envisaged by its charter and not contradicting the legislation.
Self-regulating organizations should provide informational transparency of their activity by publishing in mass media of placing in information and telecommunication networks the data on its membership, standards established by the organization and rules for entrepreneurial or professional activity, the cost and list of property of the organization’s compensatory fund, on cases of making its members answerable for violation of the legislative requirements as to implementation of entrepreneurial or professional activity, standards and rules of the organization as well as any claims and applications, brought to the courts by the organization (clauses 4, 6 and 7 of the Law).
In order to provide property accountability of the members of self-regulating organization to consumers of goods produced by them as well as to other persons, organization has a right to found systems of personal and collective insurance and form compensatory fund. Compensatory fund is initially formed only in monetary form by contributions of the members of the organization at the rate of no less than RUR 3000 as to every member. The compensatory fund means are to be invested in order to replenish the fund.
In case personal or collective insurance system is applied as means to provide accountability, the minimum rate of the insurance sum by the insurance contract of each member cannot be less than RUR per year (clause 13 of the Law).
The governing bodies of self-regulating organizations are the general assembly of the members of the organization, constantly operating collective management body and executive body.
The general assembly of the self-regulating organization members is the superior management body of the organization. Its terms of reference cover, for instance, approval of organization’s charter, election of the members of constantly operating collective management body of the organization, appointment of the person, executing the functions of personal executive of the organization, establishing the measures of disciplinary control, procedure and grounds for their implementation, procedure for examination of cases of violation of requirements established by organization’s standards and regulations, determination of priority direction of organization’s activity.
Constantly operating collective management body of a self-regulating organization is formed from the members of the organization (members that are natural persons and representative of legal entities that are members of the organization) as well as independent members (not connected by labor contracts with selfregulating organization and its members), whose number should be no less than one third of the members of constantly operating collective management body. Terms of reference of constantly operating management body of an organization include, for instance, approval of organization’s standards and regulations, creation of special bodies of the organization.
Executive body’s competence include the issues, not covered by the terms of reference of the general assembly and constantly operating collective management body.
Special bodies of self-regulating organization that are to be formed compulsory include the body executing control over observance of standards and regulations’ requirements of the organization and the body responsible for consideration of cases on application of disciplinary measures to the members of organization (clauses 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Law).
The control over execution by the organization’s members the entrepreneurial and professional activity is implemented by the employees of the corresponding body of the organization by carrying out planned and unplanned revisions.
The subject of planned revisions is observance by the members of organization of requirements of standards and regulations of the regulations. Planned revision is carried out no less often than once a year. The grounds for unplanned revision can be a complaint on violation of organization’s standards and requirements by its member directed to self-regulation organization. At the same time self-regulating organization can envisage other grounds for unplanned revision execution. In the course of unplanned revision only the facts mentioned in the complaint or fact subject to revision set for other reasons are to be investigated.