The Verkhovna Rada adopted draft laws restoring NACP authorities. The Agency’s comment:
Today, on December15th, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted draft laws No. 4470 and 4471 aiming to restore authorities of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (the NACP). Constitutional majority of the Members of Parliament – 300 and 321 respectively – voted for these decisions.
Adoption of this law was required in connection with the adoption of the decision No. 13-р/2020 by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which stripped the NACP of the majority of its powers.
The NACP opinion on the adopted law:
“The adopted draft laws will enable the NACP to resume its operation. Officials who declared false data in their declarations for previous years may not be held criminally liable because of the CCU’s decision”, — the NACP Head, Oleksandr Novikov, stated.
In general, the draft law restores practically all powers of the NACP, which the Agency enjoyed prior to the adoption of the above CCU decision.
However, as the Agency responsible for formulating anti-corruption policy, the NACP analyzed the document and made three substantive comments, proposals for the elimination of which the Agency will make in the near future:
- The law requires the NACP to inform the High Council of Justice or the CCU on commencement of monitoring lifestyles of judges.
Consequences: Measures on lifestyle monitoring of judges will not be efficient. Thus, a person under monitoring will be able to intentionally not disclose or delete information on items of value (e.g., vehicles) in his/ her possession from open sources or try to “legitimize” assets by notifying the NACP of self-identified mistakes in the declaration.
- Only the NACP Head and Deputies thereof shall be authorized to issue protocols with regard to judges.
Consequences: Such practices can set the wrong precedent — prescribing separate procedures for certain categories of offenders. This may entitle other categories – councilors, police officers – to also apply for separate procedures against them.
In addition, such a procedure grossly contradicts the current practice of issuing protocols by the agencies. Generally, approximately 60 other agencies issue administrative protocols with regard to judges using no special procedure. For example, the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Head of the Tax [Service] do not issue protocols with regard to judges for violation of traffic rules or failure to pay taxes.
- The law requires the NACP create a “queue” of declarations based on software applications and informs the declarant about inclusion in this queue.
Consequences: Software applications, in this case, will not be able to streamline the process. For example, the Registry currently contains more than 300 declarations of “Presidents”. If a queue is generated by electronic means, the NACP will have to verify such fake declarations.
Hence, the NACP starts to restore operation on all major areas governed by the provisions of the amendments adopted to the Law of Ukraine “On Corruption Prevention”.