16/04/2015 - Widespread corruption was one of the main reasons that led to the change of the political regime in Ukraine in 2014. The new administration pledged to fight corruption, a challenging task in the current context of the economic crisis and military conflict in the East of the country. It has made a major breakthrough in anti-corruption policy, legal and institutional reforms. But it has so far failed to deliver convincing results beyond legal reforms. Ukraine must enforce its new anti-corruption legislation, and bring corrupt officials to justice without delay, says the new OECD report.
The report commends Ukraine for the recent adoption of the anti-corruption strategy and for the reform of its criminal legislation that brought the country into compliance with international anti-corruption standards. It also welcomes the decision to create two anti-corruption bodies - the Corruption Prevention Agency and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. The report highlights the major role that the civil society played in the reform process.
However, these encouraging steps have not yet been supported by strong enforcement actions. The report raises major concerns about the lack of prosecutions of corrupt members of the former regime, especially those whose assets have been frozen in OECD countries and of corruption spreading in the new government. The report recommends that Ukraine should:
The report also highlights significant improvement of the legislation regulating conflicts of interest, achievements in determining the strategic directions of the Public Financial Control and Audit reform, major improvements in the legislative frameworks in public procurement and in access to public information. It calls on the government of Ukraine to focus its efforts on the practical implementation of these new legal provisions.
Ukraine and the OECD signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2014 identifying areas for stronger cooperation, including anti-corruption.
The full report and recommendations on Ukraine are available here.
The report is published under the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan, initiative launched in 2003 under the Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN), which is a part of the OECD Working Group on Bribery outreach work. More information is at http://www.oecd.org/corruption/acn/.