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New body proposed for fighting corruption

28.03.2011    source:
The draft law’s author, H. Moskal, says that the Presidential draft law norm on financial control at present being reworked in parliament is “toothless”, failing to specify what needs to be declared, and how, who oversees whether the information is correct, as well as liability if it is not


National Deputy Hennady Moskal has submitted a draft law which proposes that parliament create a State Service on Declaration Issues which would administer control over the financial activities of officials. Moskal, from the opposition Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence faction, is First Deputy of the Parliamentary Committee on Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption.  He is convinced that this would help eradicate the failings in the President’s anti-corruption legislation presently being refined in parliament. The Party of the Regions (the main party in the ruling majority) considers that there is no need for a new body.

Draft Law No. #8283 envisages the creation of a civil service monitoring the declaration of income and expenditure of officials, people applying for positions in the civil services as well as officials of bodies of local self-government . “Income, property, expenses and obligations of a financial nature of an official must be under control of a single State body”, Moskal explained to the newspaper Kommersant – Ukraine. “Without its creation, and also clear and understandable procedure for filling out declarations and exact requirements on their content, the President’s anti-corruption draft law which they’re doing everything to emasculate in the Verkhovna Rada will have no point and will be yet another empty rattle to pacify Europe”.

As reported here, on 15 March the Verkhovna Rada passed in its second reading the draft law “On the fundamental principles for countering corruption in Ukraine”, no. 7487, but excluded a number of key norms sent back for a repeat second reading. These were: Article 1: Definition of terms; Article 11: Special check of people who are applying for posts linked with carrying out functions of State; and Article 12: “Financial control”, as well as the Transitional Provisions.

According to Moskal, it was the “toothless” nature of Article 12 that promoted him to register Draft Law #8283. He says that in Article 12 “it is not specified what needs to be declared and how, who will carry out control over the accuracy of the declarations on income and expenses, as well as how officials will be punished for not submitting declarations or making untruthful declarations”

According to the draft law the Head of the Service would be appointed and dismissed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister for a term of 7 years, with this unable to be extended. The Service would have to check all declarations from high-ranking officials and a random selection of 5% of all others.  Three types of liability are envisaged: disciplinary, administrative and criminal. The minimal fine for infringements would be 100% of the annual salary of the official; the maximum – 5 years imprisonment with confiscation of property.

The Deputy Head of the Party of the Regions, Yury Samolilenko had no support for the draft law, suggesting there was no need to create another State body when the administrative reform underway is reducing their number. He said that the three articles from the President’s draft law were “indeed difficult but in reworking them, I think that all contentious issues will be resolved”.

From a report at Kommersant - Ukraine

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