Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted, in the first reading, the draft law streamlining the procedure for citizens to report corruption
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted, in the first reading, the draft Law 3450, amending several legislative acts of Ukraine with regard to streamlining certain issues of whistleblower protection.
Law 3450 provides for the creation of a unified portal to receive whistleblower reports. Currently, a whistleblower has to turn to different state authorities to report different corruption offenses and spend time searching for the “appropriate” state authority; implementation of the initiative will enable him/ her to file the report conveniently and promptly at the unified portal that will automatically forward the report to the relevant recipient.
This portal will be administered by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP).
“In order to develop a high-quality and secure portal, as required by law, a new independent IT-system should be set up. The cost of the system itself for each separate authority will amount to UAH 2-5 million. Thus, we suggest creating a unified portal that would enable receiving all whistleblower reports and work with the whistleblowers based on a unified methodology. This will help save state funds and simplify the process of reporting corruption for whistleblowers,” – the Head of NACP, Oleksandr Novikov, explains.
The portal will provide the following:
- A swift and coherent procedure for reporting corruption. Whistleblowers will be enabled to report corruption in a single window at a single site, without the need to search for channels in different state authorities;
- High protection standards for information received from whistleblowers;
- A unified approach to report consideration;
- Mitigating risks of unauthorized access to reports received from whistleblowers.
Additionally, the draft law regulates the issue of legal protection of whistleblowers. Currently, this protection can be provided by attorneys of the free legal aid system, attorneys on a paid basis (for which the whistleblower then receives compensation), and NACP employees. In practice, such distribution is not effective, thus the law proposes to determine that the defense is carried out by attorneys. The NACP can still be involved in litigation as a third party on the whistleblower’s side.
The NACP hopes that the draft law will be adopted as a whole as soon as possible in order to start developing the portal this year.