Lie Detectors Used in Fight Against Corruption
Published: August 31, 2014 (Issue # 1826)
More than 600 Russian civil servants have undergone lie detector tests this year— a practice that has had a positive effect on weeding out those who are liable to corruption, a city official said Friday.
"By the end of the year, polygraph tests will be conducted on another 1,000 employees, from members of procurement committees and contractual services," a spokesperson from the country's department for competition policy told Interfax news agency on Friday.
Gennady Degtyev, the head of the department, praised the polygraph tests as making the hiring process easier and the work of civil servants run more smoothly, according to the department's press service.
"Heads of many state bodies in the capital have appreciated the effect of the polygraph testing, so the tests have become a requirement for starting a [civil servant] job or being appointed to a post. Not a single head of contractual services can be appointed without undergoing the polygraph procedure," Degtyev said, Interfax reported.
The testing allows managers to weed out those employees who pose a risk of violating rules or engaging in corrupt behavior, and sheds light on what's motivating officials, Degtyev said.
After the testing, employees are divided into three categories: those who fall into the "green zone," the "yellow zone" and the "red zone."
The green zone, which about 60 percent of employees fall into, indicates general reliability.
Another 25 percent of employees are categorized as belonging to the "yellow zone," meaning they present a minor risk, the department's press service told Interfax.
The remaining 15 percent, which comprise the "red zone," are generally regarded as posing a greater risk of being liable to corruption and thus are rotated between positions more often, the press service said.
To prevent any biased decisions in the polygraph process, a council of between four and six polygraph specialists takes part in each procedure.
Lie detector tests are commonly used to screen government employees, and the Interior Ministry made them a requirement for police and security service officers last fall in a bid to crack down on corruption, RIA Novosti reported.