Kyiv, December 15, 2015. National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) is a necessary component of Ukraine’s anticorruption reform. Its launch is currently under threat as the government is not ready to give up attempts to gain control over the institution that by definition has to be independent, said members of the commission for selection of NAPC staff at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Derailed launch of NAPC postpones the prospects of visa-free regime with the EU for all of us. […] I would like to emphasize personal responsibility of each commission member. You have an opportunity to save this competition, institution and the declaration system,” said Vitaliy Shabunin, Head of Board at the Anticorruption Action Center.
The selection commission (hereinafter – Commission) had a meeting on December 14. Its participants agreed to select two candidates for managerial posts with the NAPC. Civil society activists compromised to support the governmental representative while the governmental part of the Commission compromised to support the civil society candidate. In such a way each party was supposed to be equally represented at the NAPC management. However, the voting demonstrated that promises were not kept, says Volodymyr Sushchenko, Commission member. “It turned out that the candidate – representative of the civil society Fedir Venislavsky, a scientist, experienced fighter with corruption and ATO veteran did not pass the selection,” noted Sushchenko. He also called on the Commission members to act wisely and select all NAPC members.
Viktor Chumak, MP of Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction who was elected to NAPC management, noted that the agency has to be launched by the end of this year. It is the main agency within the country’s anticorruption system as its task is to prevent corruption crimes. “While all other law enforcement agencies react to corrupt acts and corruptionists, this agency does everything to prevent corruption,” emphasized the MP.
The speaker reminded that the NAPC is supposed to approve the standard for assets declaration that all civil servants must submit, to launch e-registry of the declarations as well as constantly monitor lifestyle of civil servants in order to detect discrepancies between the declarations and the actual state of play if any.
NAPC is also a tool to ensure financial transparency of budgets of political parties, starting from 2016 the parties will be financed by state. Serhiy Leshchenko, MP of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction, noted that effective January 1, 2016 the parties have to demonstrate their financial transparency by submitting revenue and expense reports, the NAPC is to monitor these reports.
Full-fledged launch of the NAPC is not only a precondition required to introduce Ukraine’s visa-free regime with the EU but also a necessary condition to get EU’s financial support.