Ukraine’s high officials will be first to lodge e-declarations

Ukraine’s high officials will be first to lodge e-declarations
April 19, 2016.

A newly established government institution in Ukraine aiming at combatting corruption will focus on control over activities of top officials by introducing mandatory e-declaration of assets.

Kyiv, April 19, 2016. First wave of mandatory e-declaring of assets will embrace high-level officials: ministers and deputy ministers, prosecutors, judges, members of parliament (MPs), heads of regional state administrations etc., said representatives of the Ministry of Justice and of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP) speaking at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “In its first year of activity the National Agency for Corruption Prevention will focus on high-level government officials. These are the persons who are supposed to be under strict control by both the civil society and the newly established anticorruption agencies. We would like to change the practice that existed in Ukraine over the last 20 years, when corruption was fought by catching red-handed civil servants who committed small-scale petty corruption. We are changing principles and approaches to control over civil servants,” noted Pavlo Petrenko, Minister of Justice of Ukraine.

To submit e-declaration civil servants will use e-signatures that will be provided free. Natalia Sevostianova, First Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, called on all heads of state agencies to appoint the persons authorized to get these signatures on behalf of their agency. “Majority of civil servants already have personal e-signatures. It will be possible to use it for filing out e-declarations as well if the individual tax payer’s number and other personal data are encrypted in them. All other civil servants do not need to go and look for accreditation centers on their own and have the e-key (e-signature) produced. Ministry of Justice offers a simplified procedure. Head of an agency appoints one employee responsible for communication with authorized centers for e-keys,” noted Sevostianova. The First deputy Minister of Justice also reminded that there will be an alternative identification way in the registry – a BankID.

Minister of Justice said that in a few days the government will provide the working space for the National Agency for Corruption Prevention, it is supposed to accelerate the agency’s work. Oleksandr Skopych, NACP member, said that the draft e-declaration is almost ready and is to be presented at the governmental meeting in the nearest weeks. “Although we do not physically have premises now, we do have achievements. In cooperation with our international partners we have worked out the declaration form itself and recommendations on how to fill it out. We now have to process the information we have and approve the declaration form at the meeting of the Agency. After the form is approved, an official will need to fill it out within 60 days,” explained Skopych.

Dmytro Kotlyar, consultant of the World Bank and of the United Nations Development Program, added that it is expected that by the end of the year all civils servants will have a technical possibility to join the e-system for declaration of assets. “It is important to distribute this information now, so that as many people as possible are able to get e-signatures. They will be able to use them within one and two years. It is not a one-time action, they will also need the e-signatures afterwards,” added Kotlyar.

Minister Pavlo Petrenko reminded that the main task of the NACP is preventing corrupt acts. Efficient work of the agencies that are part of the anticorruption system needs to result in zero tolerance to corruption in the society.

 

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