Transparency International Ukraine: Anti-corruption policy in Ukraine. Expectations vs. results
About the level of corruption, reforms, anti-corruption prosecutor and other forms of corruption control in an exclusive comment of Transparency International Ukraine to 112 International
December 9 is an international day on countering the corruption, the United Nations Convention against Corruption was signed by the General Assembly of the United Nations exactly on this day in 2003 Ukraine, despite the range of law amendments remains in the club of corrupted countries. 112 International addressed the Transparency International – an international anti-corruption organization aimed to clarify which spheres are affected by corruption hugely, what impact on the level of corruption in the country can bring the activity of National anti-Corruption Bureau and Anti-Corruption Prosecutor.
By how much Ukraine has made a progress in combating a corruption? In which areas? What are the key achievements and failures?
According to the poll Corruption perception level. The second wave, which was presented by the Transparency International Ukraine, PrivatBank, LLC PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC Ukraine) and GfK Ukraine, in the past six months the level of corruption has worsened especially in service sphere. There are some positive trends in agriculture.
Among the leaders of central government authorities in corruption anti-rating, the same as this spring, there were the Tax Service, Customs and the Agency of Land Resources. The most often bribe forcing was noticed while making documents for land, office or property, as well as the issuance of permits.
"Ukrainian businessmen openly give the red card to the anticorruption efforts of local authorities. They speak out loud about corruption and require drastic changes on the places,"- says the executive director of Transparency International Ukraine Oleksiy Khmara.
The results of a survey can be found here: www.corruption-index.org.ua.
How corruption level in a society is reflected on the reforms of the country? How much the implementation of the international practices in fighting corruption in Ukraine is effective?
Corruption hinders the effective implementation of reforms. Creation of different institutions that fight on corruption such as National anti-Corruption Bureau, National anti-Corruption Agency, anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, is an international practice. The process of staffing to these institutions was problematic, but due to public pressure, including TI Ukraine, anti-corruption prosecutor was elected and the management of National anti-Corruption Agency was appointed.
Will the activities of National anti-Corruption Bureau and anti-Corruption Prosecutor be effective in combating corruption? On what will the results of their activities depend?
National anti-Corruption Agency is an important and powerful body that will deal with six important functions:
First, National anti-Corruption Agency will deal with the recording and verification of the declarations of all Ukrainian officials. Starting from April next year, officials will submit their declarations electronically through the Internet. These declarations be verified automatically with registers and databases. If the system sees certain inconsistencies, it will signalize to members of the agency that this declaration, this person must be looked carefully. Under the changes to the law on false information in the declaration provided for imprisonment for a term of two years.
Second, the agency will conduct a special registry of corrupt officials. A person who got into the registry will be unable to hold positions for a while, but when it comes to organization or enterprise (for the registry will work for legal entities as well) - they will not be able to participate in tenders or public operations.
Third, National anti-Corruption Agency will prevent conflicts of interest. This is a great bulk of work, because officials adopt each fifth decision with a conflict of interest.
Fourth, the coordination in the development of governmental anti-corruption plans. In fact, this plan reduces internal corruption risks. The public authority will have to describe corruption cases, and develop a way to deal with them. If a public company doesn’t have a proper anti-corruption program - it will not be allowed to tenders.
Fifth, the anti-Corruption Agency explains - rather complex - legislation and work with people, areas, organizations and authorities.
Sixth, the tracking on the financing of political parties. Political parties will have to report their spending and ensure transparency of finance. They will be sifted through a sieve of integrity, so that they are funded only by those persons who meet the required criteria (next summer parties to be financed from the budget, but they have the right to collect funds among supporters). Ukrainian parties is a great mechanism for money laundering oligarchs. If National anti-Corruption Agency copes well with the work, we can finally get rid of the influence of oligarchs in the party.
The newly appointed anti-Corruption Prosecutor Nazar Holodnytskyy has pluses and minuses. Among the pluses are worth noting his youth and professionalism, he has worked in the prosecutor's office, knows the job, knows how to organize it.
Minus: he is associated with the former Deputy Prosecutor General Mykolay Golomsha, because he made his career when worked with Golomsha, starting with ordinary prosecutor in one district of Kyiv, and then - the post of Assistant Attorney General, and higher and higher. It’s impossible to get that quickly there. Or you have relatives or have informal contacts that facilitate this rapid career.
How to assess the readiness of the society to corruption management?
Ukrainian society is very tolerant to corruption. We constantly hold discussions, trainings and seminars, during which we explain how to expose corrupt officials safely. Lots of people come, so they are interested in topics and are ready to counter corruption. We believe that public tolerance will decrease gradually to briberies, which is the first step in order to overcome another negative phenomenon.
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