Ukraine PM asks for anti-corruption law backing

6 Oct 14
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has appealed to parliament to back a package of draft anti-corruption laws in a vote tomorrow. The measures aim to tackle systemic failings, crippling social well-being and economic growth in the country.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 6 October 2014

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has appealed to parliament to back a package of draft anti-corruption laws in a vote tomorrow. The measures aim to tackle systemic failings, which caused a decline in social well-being and economic growth.

Speaking at a cabinet session today, Yatsenyuk outlined the governmental draft laws on the mandatory publication of data about real owners of companies and those of immovable property, as well as on curbing corruption, and the presidential bill on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

He emphasised that the Cabinet of Ministers had a clear plan ‘of how to curb corruption in Ukraine and what steps to make’, and outlined a three-rule plan, with the first step being deregulation.

‘If officials have too much power and they aren’t overseen, they just start to collect money for their powers, the state authorized them with,’ he said.

Yatsenyuk stressed that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine had already taken a series of vital decisions regarding deregulation and reduction of corruption in public authorities.

He said the solution for the government was to reduce the number of public authorities with control functions from 56 to 27, to cut the number of functions from 1,100 functions to 680.

The second rule of the anti-corruption initiatives introduced two bills on revealing company ownership.

Yatsenyuk said: ‘Today, companies are registered in the offshore zones, and the actual owners of the companies can appear either civil servants, members of the government or employees of the Administration of the President, and it is impossible to see. Therefore, the primary task of this law is to disclose data about all beneficial owners of any Ukrainian company.’

The third draft law is aimed at curbing corruption, Yatsenyuk said, as he explained that the anti-corruption code was designed with western partners, notably from the US.

He said the code should not focus on ‘petty officials, but officials of I-III categories’.

‘It means starting with the members of the government, the administration of the President, ministers, and ending with CEA leaders, heads of local administrations,’ Yatsenyuk said.

The law would introduce a mandatory e-Declaration of incomes and expenditures of all public officials of 1-3 categories. ‘Anyone can get access to this electronic declaration,’ he added.

NGO Transparency International called on the Ukrainian government to pass the package of anti-corruption laws, saying that the special session would give members of parliament a second chance to adopt a legislation that created a National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Anne Koch, regional director for Europe and Asia Transparency International, said: ‘Ukraine needs a solid legal framework to fight the corruption that has run rampant both in politics and in the state structures that provide basic services to ordinary people. When these new laws are adopted and implemented it will greatly reduce the opportunities for corruption of those with political power.’ 

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