Kyiv, September 19, 2016. E-data portal has been operating for a year. Now, according to the law “On the open use of public funds”, all administrators of public funds are to submit on-line reports on their financial activities, expenditures and upload their purchase agreements. However, the website has a number of problems which no one is going to correct at this point. This was stated by Viktor Taran, Head of the Analytical Center “Eidos”, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “At the local level, the law is implemented by 45%. Local governments continue to sabotage its implementation and do not want local communities to see how they spend the money,” noted Mr. Taran. According to Oleksandr Klymchuk, Chairman at the “Civil society online”, under the law 80,000 legal entities were to have registered, but only 33,400 fulfilled this requirement.
State-owned enterprises lag behind
According to Yevhen Shulha, Development Director of the project “Price of the state”, state-owned enterprises are “the hardest area of disposal of budgetary funds”, and they have the worst registration rates. “Ukraine has up to 3,700 state-owned enterprises, of which 85 per cent are registered on the portal. The pace is very slow – 60-70 new registrations a month. With this rate, it will take 8 years for all state enterprises to comply with the requirements of the law,” explained Mr. Shulha. He reported that the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine lag behind everyone else – over 95 per cent of their businesses have not been registered yet. At the same time, the National Bank of Ukraine and the Pension Fund were able to register just one company.
Account fraud schemes
Another obstacle to the public funds transparency is the fact that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have several current accounts – one in the Treasury, and others out of it. “About half of the funds of state-owned enterprises are not shown on E-data website. Our analysis has revealed that the number of transactions made through the Treasury is decreasing with time. State-owned enterprises gradually transfer money to the accounts that are not shown on the portal,” emphasized Evhen Shulha.
Oleksandr Opanasenko, MP (Samopomich faction), informed that draft law No. 5061 has already been developed to solve the current problems. It includes two sets of changes: filling gaps and increasing responsibility as well as preventing public institutions’ fraud schemes at the local level. “We increase responsibility and specify the process of appealing and imposing sanctions on those who do not observe the law. […] We also want to disclose all sources of filling up local and state budgets. We will be able to see how much taxes the companies pay, how they earn, where they take money from. The changes will also help us analyze where state enterprises are using state property ineffectively. We will understand which SOEs fill up the state and local budgets. We must urge the state to support the business that fills up the budget,” detailed Oleksandr Opanasenko.