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19.04.2013

Anti-corruption measures don’t apply to most corrupt areas

   

The Justice Ministry has stated that the losses from corruption last year came to nearly 1.8 billion UAH. Experts believe that the real figures are many times greater and point to the inadequate anti-corruption legislation. The profile parliamentary committee claims that draft laws have been drawn up and will soon be considered.

According to the Finance Ministry’s report, the overall figure of losses incurred through corruption-linked administrative offences in 2012 came to 1.191 billion UAH, and in criminal – 577.8 million UAH.   Justice Minister Lavrynovych says that the resport is based on information received from central and regional authorities and specially authorized bodies on fighting corruption.

Vitaly Shabunin, Head of the Centre on Countering Corruption, the fact that administrative offence losses so considerably outweigh criminal offences is highly indicative. He says that the main perpetrators are thus doctors, teachers and village heads who as a rule end up accused of administrative offences.

Viktor Chumak, Head of the profile parliamentary committee (from the opposition UDAR party) believes that the real figures are much higher than those named by the Justice Ministry.  He and a number of analysts point to the fact that the most corrupt areas concern public procurement and land relations with neither of these attracting the attention of those formally fighting corruption.

Oleksy Shalaisky, Editor of “Nashi Hroshi” [Our Money] which monitors corruption linked with public procurement believes that one corrupt scheme alone concerning public procurement could outstrip the figures cited by the Ministry. According to Nashi Hroshi estimates, about a quarter of the overall amount of 500 billion UAH spent on public procurement is siphoned off. As reported here many times, legislation in this field does nothing to eradicate such corruption.

“99% of corrupt tenders are in accordance with legislation. A typical set up is where bids are submitted by two firms who are “in”, while those who aren’t don’t even get invited to tender. Or they’re scared off through checks or hints that they won’t get paid because the money in the budget will run out”.

Oleksy Shalaisky says that although the authorities have promised to introduce a more transparent system of electronic public procurement, the system is unlikely to appear before 2015 at the earliest.

Viktor Chumak says that draft bills which could fight the situation have been drawn up and registered in parliament. These include a law on special confiscation for offences and also criminalization of administrative offences.  He adds that the authors are from four factions, including the Party of the Regions. There is also one draft bill on financial control and conflict of interests.

In fact, however, the government draft law on criminalizing some of the offences presently considered administrative offences was one of those rejected by the extraordinary “parliament session” which met on Bankova St on 4 April (see: Dodgy Parliament, Dodgy Laws):  Viktor Chumak, however, says that they have drawn up a new draft law with more chance of being passed.

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