How does the Register of Declarations help to detect violations for hundreds of millions of hryvnias?
The Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) as a result of its decision that caused the collapse of the anti-corruption system, declared provisions regarding publicity of the Unified State Register of Declaration (paragraphs 2-3 of part 1 of Article 47 of the Law of Ukraine “On Corruption Prevention”) unconstitutional. It was detrimental to those who actively used the Register: journalists, whistleblowers, and active citizens.
To implement the CCU’s decision, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (the NACP) terminated access to the public part of the Registry. It was only due to the Government’s Resolution that it was restored, but a significant portion of the NACP’s authorities required to conduct comprehensive verification of declarations, remained blocked.
How much does the Register of Declarations cost to the state?
In 2020, the state spent around UAH 9 million to maintain the Register. For comparison: the state budget provides for UAH 12.7 million to produce state awards this year.
For the period of May to October, the NACP verified 446 declarations; false data was detected in 423 declarations for the amount of UAH 497 million, including 97 which contained false data for an amount that provided for criminal liability. The NACP passed reasoned opinions with materials to law enforcement agencies.
Currently, because of the CCU’s decision, such results of the NACPs’ activities will be wasted. All of those persons will not be held liable.
What is the value of the Register?
Annual declarations are filed by about 900 thousand persons. The Register is the foundation for preventing corruption: officials hired by taxpayers should demonstrate that they are not using their job for their own benefit. Declarations should be filed annually by the heads of the state, civil servants, managers of state enterprises and officials of local government agencies.
“The Register of Declarations is the best tool to ensure incompatibility of the public service and corruption. Openness of information on officials’ assets is one of the key elements for ensuring integrity in government”, — stated NACP Head, Oleksandr Novikov.
Following the reset, the NACP started to verify declarations from May 2020 according to the new verification procedure. Pursuant to the new procedure, the NACP has been verifying declarations with the highest corruption risks.
Thus, the grounds for verification are as follows:
- Declarant’s senior position. Declarations of the Presidents, Prime-Ministers, Members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and deputies thereof, judges of the CCU, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the High Anti-Corruption Court and others were the first to be verified.
- Identification of the declaration as risky based on the results of logical and arithmetic control (LAC). All annual declarations for 2019 were automatically ranked by the LAC system, which used the data from the state registers. Based on specific indicators, declarations with the highest risks were identified, which were selected for comprehensive verification a few weeks prior to the CCU’s decision. Unfortunately, computer verification currently cannot replace declaration verification by an NACP employee, in particular due to the fact that the data in the majority of registers is incomplete.
- Applications and reports from legal entities and individuals, including journalists.