Verkhovna Rada passes President’s anti-corruption law



On Thursday 277 National Deputies voted for the Law “On the fundamental principles for countering corruption in Ukraine”, no. 7487.  This was, according to the correspondent, despite the fact that there only just over 100 Deputies, including members of the opposition in parliament during the vote.

As reported, this law replaces a total gap in anti-corruption legislation caused after the ruling majority in December revoked the anti-corruption legislation long passed and due to come into effect from 1 January 2011.  Since this cancellation only came into force around 5 January, the revoked documents had time to do one thing only, that being to cancel the anti-corruption legislation in force from 1995.

Most specialists have said that the President’s version, given as the grounds for revoking the previous package, in fact does not differ from it greatly.

Many of the features mentioned below are, therefore, not new.

The Law defines those who bear liability for corruption offences.  These include the President, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Prime Minister, Prosecutor General, Head of the Security Service, ministers, National Deputies, deputies of the Crimean parliament as well as local councils, judges of the Constitutional Court and others. ,

Restrictions are imposed on the use of official position, the receiving of gifts, as well as on employment possibilities for relatives of officials of public law legal entities, paid from the State or local budgets. In revising the draft law the following were excluded from the category of officials of public law legal entities: people working in education, science, culture, law enforcement, physical education and sport.

The concept of a conflict of interests in public service is defined, as well as the rules of procedure for regulating such a conflict. A special check is envisaged over those applying for a job linked with public or local self-government functions. The rules of procedure for carrying out a special check are approved by the President.

The deputies also decided, when revising the draft law, that in all questions regarding declaration of income and expenses of a public official and his or her relatives, the term “member of the family” would be used. This means a person one is married to, their children, people under their care or guardianship, other people living in the same place, linked by a shared everyday life, having mutual rights and obligations, including people living together in a common-law relationship.

The law is to come into force from 1 July 2011 with the exception of Chapter 12 “Financial Control” which will only come into effect from 1 January 2012. 

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