16 February parliament passed a bill # 3755 on «Electronic system for reporting and disclosure of declarations of persons authorized to perform state functions or local government».
The draft law was intended to restore the status quo in the law «On prevention of corruption» and to launch a new system of electronic declaration this year. The draft law provided for annulling the changes made to the Law «On prevention of corruption» during the vote on the law «On budget of Ukraine for 2016». However due to procedural manipulations although the adopted law launches electronic declarations, at the same time it largely undermines its value.
Therefore, we call on the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to veto on the law, given the following arguments.
1. Changes to the draft law were made shortly before the vote in Parliament without proper consultation with experts, civil society, MPs and parliamentary committees.
2. The law arbitrarily postpones introduction of liability for incorrect information to 2017.
3. The value of property and assets to be declared is doubled and in some cases tripled without obvious reason.
4. A wide range of family members were wrongly excluded from the declarations, which essentially does not solve the problem of concealment of property by allowing it to be transferred to other persons.
5. The law removed the obligation to indicate their place of residence as was in the initial version of the law.
6. The obligation to declare personal (movable) property that was acquired before the start of new declarations system was unreasonably cancelled.
7. The introduction of the article that entitles the person to not specify the value of the property (asset), unless such property (asset) is a source of income is incomprehensible.
In fact, such changes mean that the new system of electronic declaration will not lead to real punishment of corrupt officials. Therefore, it appears to us that the real purpose of the adoption of this law is only a formal compliance undertaken by the Government to the conditionalities of IMF and World Bank programs and the EU visa liberalization regime rather than a real instrument for fighting corruption.
We, the coalition of civil society organizations who focus on verification of declarations of income, assets and expenses as a key pillar in the fight against corruption, are concerned with the outright sabotage of the launch of a new system of electronic declaration. Given the delay in the formation of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC), it creates a risk that the fight against corruption with verification of declarations will not start in 2016.
Therefore, the Coalition of NGOs «Declarations under Control» made up of civil society organizations who have made great efforts to develop and introduce new anticorruption legislation in recent years, requests the international community to prevent the sabotage of the fight against corruption in Ukraine and to support the request to the President to veto the Law # 3755 that is crushing for electronic declaration system.
«Declarations under Control» is a coalition of non-governmental organisations that focus on fighting corruption via verification of assets declarations. The Memorandum has been signed on 1st February by six organisations working in the field, namely Transparency International Ukraine, Civic Lustration Committee, The office hundred (Kantseliarska sotnia), Center for Political Studies and Analysis, Institute of Media Law and Center for Local Government with four also representing civic initiative Reanimation Package of Reforms.