Rotation in National Agency for Prevention of Corruption: Natalia Korchak resigned

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Find out the key moments of Korchak's biography
23:21, 29 March 2018

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The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) has found its new head, Olexander Mangul. The term of the former head Natalia Korchak's powers expired on March 28, and she declared that she was ready to resign.

"I am not clinging on to the post, and I would give this burden of glory to someone else," she wrote on Facebook.

In fact, the resignation of Natalia Korchak was demanded almost during all the time of her term. Sometimes, even colleagues did not support Korchak, stating that she had exhausted her potential and that the agency needed a "reset".

According to the official biography, Natalia Korchak was born on October 14, 1968, in Kozyatin, Vinnytsia region.

Related: What do we know about new National Agency for Prevention of Corruption head?

In 1992, she graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Faculty of Law; she defended her thesis in 1996 and a doctoral thesis in 2015.

It is noteworthy that the topic of her thesis was: "Legal issues of antimonopoly regulation of entrepreneurial activity in Ukraine", and of the doctoral thesis - "State regulation of competition relations in Ukraine (economic and legal aspect)." Korchak (herself and with co-authors) wrote more than 90 scientific and scientific works, including one textbook and four teaching aids.

As we can see, the former head of the NAPK is strong in the legal sciences, however, she received her first labor experience in another field: first she was an employee of the production section No. 1 of the Kozyatin grain receiving enterprise, then she worked at the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine as a leading specialist in the department on unfair competition.


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Natalia Korchak

Korchak started her pedagogical activity in 1995 with an assistant at Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University (Department of Civil Law) and then became an assistant professor of the same department. She has worked at the university for about 8 years.

According to some media reports, among her students were the current Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko, former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (she reviewed his work).

In 2004, Korchak moved to Kyiv and joined the staff of the Law Institute of the National Aviation University. Until 2013, she has been working there as an assistant professor, head, and professor of the department of economic law and process.

In 2013, Korchak became an employee of the National Academy of the Prosecutor's Office: first at the Department of Administrative and Financial Law, and then at the Department of Administrative and Legal Disciplines. In addition, on the website of the "Hoff Jablonski and Partners" company Korchak was listed as a lawyer at the Kyiv office of the firm.

Related: Savchenko case distracts people's attention from corruption, collapse of national security and economic system

In December 2015, Korchak was approved by a special competitive commission to elect members of the NAPC. On the same day, she was appointed a member of the agency, and in March 2016 the members of the body elected Korchak their chairman.

These two years as head of the NAPC were not simple for Korchak. In fact, her resignation was demanded even before she came to the new position.

In particular, when Korchak was elected a member of the NAPC, her platform was criticized by the participants in the "Reanimation reform package" platform and anti-corruption organizations. They appealed to the then Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to announce a new contest.

As an argument, Korchak was related to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice and therefore could not be regarded as an unbiased and independent member of the NAPC.

However, Korchak herself repeatedly stated that she did not support any relations with her former students Yatsenyuk and Petrenko. Immediately after being elected to the NAPC in an interview with the Skhemy program, she said: "If I had relations with them, then ... Well, what kind of relationship are we talking about? Before the contest, I said that if there were a relationship, they would have "promoted" me already. First, I am older than them, and secondly, many years have passed since their graduation."

Related: Head of Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office confirms wire in cabinet

Over time, the outrage of the public has soured, although, for some time, publications about Korchak’s connections with National Front (Yatsenyu’s party) have been discussed in the media.

Dissatisfaction with Korchak’s activities had more significant reason connected with the introduction of the system of electronic declaration of income and property of officials. August 11, President Poroshenko has publicly demanded that the relevant system was launched on August 15. The western partners of Kyiv directly connected the launch with the provision of Ukraine's visa-free regime with the EU. However, before the very launch, the State Communications Service refused to issue its certificate to the system and demanded to urgent improve the system.

Korchak denied the blame for the situation. According to her, the system ofthe electronic declaration was developed by the domestic company "Miranda", commissioned by the international organization United Nations Development Project in Ukraine, but the developers did not envisage the requirements of the State Communications Committee. This problem was not resolved until August 15, and the declaration system was launched in a non-regulated mode, without a certificate of compliance. Formally, the deadlines were met, but in fact, the system did not work. During the next two weeks, numerous attempts to restart the system were made.

However, the declaration system has formally been launched in full only from September 1, with a two-week delay from the previously agreed launch schedule, and with a large number of inconsistencies to the requirements of the law. This gave grounds for talking about the disruption of e-declaration in March 2017. Then Prime Minister Groysman advised Korchak to resign. Korchak’s colleagues did not defend her.

Related: Is corruption in Ukrainians blood?

Despite the criticism and proposals of the Cabinet of Ministers, Korchak did not retire, in the summer she reported for the year as head of the NAPC, and continued to work further.

In addition to the controversial appointment and criticism of professionalism, Korchak also received accusations of corruption in the post of head of the NAPK. In August, October and November 2016, Korchak allocated herself a bonus of UAH 200,000 (USD 7700), she allocated numerous bonuses to the agency employees, and it was considered as a violation. She reported this to the public in April 2017.

According to Korchak, there was nothing illegal in her actions, but the public was outraged, and in May the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) started checking the information about the bonuses that the department employees received from the Cabinet in 2016.

Related: G7 urges Ukraine to abolish e-declaration for anti-corruption

Later, Korchak became a figurant of another case opened by the NABU. It appeared in November, 2017, immediately after NAPC announced that it had compiled a protocol on corruption at NABU head Artem Sytnyk. In particular, Korchak was summoned for questioning to the department for the so-called "parking lot case" (in December 2016, the media reported that a car parked in Korchak’s parking lot is not listed in its declaration).

Specialized anti-corruption prosecutor's office (SAP), taking into account a possible conflict of interests, canceled the interrogation Korchak. Nevertheless, the interrogation of the head of the NAPC by the NABU detectives took place. Later the detective of NABU tried to serve a subpoena to her mother-in-law, but appeared to be locked up in the apartment. This incident received a huge public response. As a result, the actions of the NABU employee were taken by the police, and SAP stated that there were problems in the relations between anti-corruption departments.

Related: Mogherini: Ukraine should double work in field of fighting corruption

Later NABU said that besides the mentioned cases, Korchak is involved in other corruption cases.

The chairman of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption Natalia Korchak earned in 2016 (declarations for the year 2017 yet) more than 1.3 million UAH (50 thousand USD) in NAPC and another 57 thousand UAH (2,1 thousand USD) in the National Academy of the Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine.

Korchak also declared $ 12,000 in cash, an apartment (88.3 square meters) in Kyiv, and indicated her ownership of half the apartment in Kyiv (37.58 square meters). The declaration lists three parking spaces in Kyiv, but there are no vehicles in Korchak’s property or members of her family (husband and two sons).

Related: What's wrong with Ukraine's bill on Anti-Corruption Court?

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