Verkhovna Rada again fails to muster up an anti-corruption law
The Verkhovna Rada has passed in its second reading the draft law “On the fundamental principles for countering corruption in Ukraine”, no. 7487, but has excluded a number of articles sent back for a repeat second reading. The law received 330 votes.
Articles 1, 11 and 12 and the transitional provisions were sent back to the relevant committee for reworking.
The draft law was criticized by, among others, National Deputy from Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence, Arseny Yatsenyuk who said that virtually all the amendments proposed by the opposition had been rejected. “The main provisions of the draft bill, and that is in the first instance liability of the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, the ministers, heads of special and law enforcement bodies have been excluded from the bill. You have deliberately not voted on the main questions which envisaged the liability of high-ranking public officials. This law is nothing more than an imitation of the fight against corruption. You don’t want to fight it, you’ve headed it and are entirely happy with it”.
The Chair of a subcommittee of the Committee on Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption, Ivan Vernidubov from the Party of the Regions, responded that the provisions on liability of high-ranking public officials were exactly the same as those in the law on fighting corruption in 2009, and that he therefore did not see what Yatsenyuk was objecting to.
On 23 December the draft law introduced by President Yanukovych was submitted to parliament as urgent. The alternative draft law led the ruling majority to scrap the anti-corruption package of laws which should have come into force on 1 January 2011. The structures which were to coordinate the drafting and implementation of anti-corruption legislation – a Government Ombudsperson and a Bureau on Anti-Corruption Policy – were dissolved.
The new draft law, No. 7487, extends the range of those who can be held liable for corruption offences, as well as specifying and itemizing the conditions for adding individual persons to this list. It introduces new rules of procedure for carrying out financial control; makes it compulsory to declare both income and outgoings; specifies the time frame for declarations and publication in official press outlets of declarations of property, income and outgoings of officials.
It also proposes A Single State Register of those who committee corruption offences, a single database which will bring together information about all those prosecuted for corruption offences.
See in particular Anti-Corruption Default for more details about the fate of the old laws and how they compare with the President’s version here
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