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04.11.2008

Corruption is on the increase, those responsible remain unpunished

   

Over the last three years the losses caused by corrupt dealings of civil servants have more than tripled. Yet during this year almost a third of such officials escaped any punishment for their deeds. This was made possible because the system of measures for countering corruption in the country is ineffective, and does not ensure the elimination or reduction of the risks and reasons for them arising. These are the conclusions of the Chamber of Accounting based on an audit on how effectively State funding allocated for measures against corruption was spent.

The auditors found that the work of the State authorities and law enforcement agencies in this sphere was carried out without proper coordination and answerability for the results of their work, with no cause and effect link between the money received and the results achieved from its use. Over 287 billion UAH of State funding during 2007 and the first half of 2008 was used not on financing measures against corruption, but mainly on current needs of structural divisions of the authorities who had been given the task of fighting corruption. As a result, the measures used and the money spent did not have any significant economic impact.  From year to year the ratio of compensated losses against the amount of losses incurred has been falling, and in the first half of 2008 came to a third of the total. The conditions for new corrupt dealings resulting from the adoption of numerous unlawful normative legal acts and decisions remain. There is no single and determined State policy on combating latent spheres of corruption.

The Accounting Chamber specialists point out that no system of legislative, normative legal and institutional provisions for fighting corruption meeting international standards has been created As a result, there is no integrated system of preventive measures to combat the reasons and conditions which foster corruption. During the period from 2000 to 2007 out of 93 draft laws aimed at improving the system for combating corruption, only 12 were passed. The Cabinet of Ministers in its turn has not established mechanisms for monitoring controlling proper implementation of the Action Plan on Implementing the Conceptual Strategy for Combating Corruption in Ukraine. At the same time the Government does not bear responsibility for the lack of a contemporary nationwide anti-corruption strategy.

At the state level there is no reliable information regarding the number of criminal investigations initiated over corrupt dealings, their state of progress, the number of cases passed to the court, where these are at in the court process, as well as the scale of the damages incurred by the State as a result of these cases.  This makes it difficult to take management decisions regarding the results and efficiency of the measures applied by the law enforcement and court bodies. As a result, the present official state statistics reflect only a part of the state’s activities on fighting corruption which relate to administrative liability for corruption actions which do not contain elements of a crime.

The auditors found that the Security Service [SBU] and the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA] had used state funding allocating for fighting corruption mainly as a supplementary source of maintenance costs, without clearly delineating responsibility for results and implementation between the relevant enforcers.

At the same time, to ensure the carrying out by special divisions of the SBU and MIA of operational measures on combating corruption, money was used from other budgetary programmes which did not allow for such costs. Just in the last year and a half over 13.2 million UAH was spent inefficiently. Furthermore, through the lack of compliance of scientific backup on fighting organized crime with current legislation, during the same year and a half, more than 2.4 million UAH were spent inefficiently.

The level of pay for specialists on fighting crime and corruption does not provide sufficient incentive for the conscientious implementation of official duties and has an adverse effect on how fully staffed special divisions of the law enforcement agencies are with highly-qualified and experienced employees. As a result, the problem has become more acute over the last years of a lack of staff to man special divisions responsible for fighting organized crime and corruption.

The Press Service of the Accounting Chamber

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