Impunity and Inefficient Justice System Keep Ukraine at the Bottom of Corruption Rankings
Ukraine scored 29 points out of 100 possible in the world Corruption Perceptions Index (СРІ) for 2016, which is an improvement of two points compared to last year. However, this meager progress is not enough for the country, the authorities of which called fighting against corruption the main priority. The progress of the anti–corruption reform resulted in an improved position in the world ranking, but the absence of an efficient judicial system and the reality of actual impunity of corrupt officials prevent Ukraine from making a huge leap forward and breaking through the 30-point barrier.
Ukraine is ranked 131 out of 176 countries in the World Ranking of Corruption Perception and shared this result with a rate of 29 points together with Kazakhstan, Russia, Nepal, and Iran.
The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index survey gave Ukraine most of the points, which is taken into account in forming the CPI. The rate of our country increased of ten points in comparison with previous years. This is connected with the reduced abuse of office in the government (the rate has improved by 14%), in police and armed forces (the rate has improved by 6%), but the situation remained the same as under the Yanukovych regime in the judicial branch of power. The World Competitiveness Yearbook survey indicates this very problem that gave Ukraine three additional points.
The Freedom House Nations in Transit survey plays an important role in civil society in the implementation of democratic transformations, which resulted in four additional points for Ukraine. The accountability of public procurement due to the ProZorro system, public funding for political parties, first NABU investigations, civil society participation in the anti-corruption reforms – experts called these very changes to be the most important. But according to the survey, the biggest challenges are the weaknesses of the institutions, called to ensure the rule of law, excessive economy regulations, and the consolidation of power in the hands of oligarch clans.
Ukraine got negative assessments from the World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey (-1 point) and Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risk Ratings (-2 points). Business witnessed great corruption while allocating public funds, and feels the judicial system was unable to prevent this. And due to the work of ProZorro and Dozorro systems the violations became more vivid for business and civil society, in comparison to the paper tenders. Exposure of such tenders with the help of Dozorro can considerably reduce corruption in procurement. Moreover, to solve the issue of impunity in courts, much more should be done.
According to Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine, the impunity issues and inefficient justice system prevent Ukraine from making a break-through: «For the past years Ukraine has faced a lot of challenges and reached some positive changes in revealing public finance, intolerance of the society to corruption, and new anti-corruption legislation. But the de facto immunity of corrupt officials brings to nothing positive achievements and prevents implementation of reform. The absence of the results on asset recovery of the Yanukovych regime and his allies is vivid evidence for that. Without the complete cleansing of the justice system, we will not be able to break the impunity circle and move up to a qualitatively new level. CPI improvement is impossible without a transparent and fair judicial system that will be reliable for investors and business».
To have real anti-corruption changes in Ukraine, Тransparency International Ukraine proposes the following five steps:
- To establish an efficient anti-corruption justice system engaging foreign specialists as active participants of selection of judges for these courts. This, together with efficient work of the NABU and SAP, will allow an activate corruption fight and guarantee efficiency of e-declarations verification.
- To activate all the possibilities for efficient investigation and bringing to court the cases of figurants from the «sanction list of Yanukovych». It is important not only to obtain a conviction, but also to recover the money whether located abroad or within Ukraine. This also relates to the corrupt practices within the current authorities.
- To actively engage business both Ukrainian and international to establish new, transparent interrelation rules in the triangle «society-power-business». To provide stable conditions for business, change its attitude to Ukraine, as to a very corrupt country, with a help of the deregulation methods, forecastability of tax legislation, and strengthening of the rule of law.
- To conduct an audit and lower the degree of safety in the defense and security sector in the following areas: items of the state budget, annual plans of public procurement, information on procurement and concluded agreements.
- To establish systemic communication as to the anti-corruption reform with the society and international partners on the basis of real facts and achievements, not promises. To strictly fulfil international obligations.
Note: Corruption Perceptions Index is based on independent surveys, where international financial and human rights experts, including the World Bank, the Freedom House, the World Economic Forum, the Asian and African Banks etc. take part. The index is a rating from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). To read the whole survey, please visit www.ti-ukraine.org or www.transparency.org.