On Tuesday, January 10, a six-month period allocated by the Law “On Prevention of Corruption” for approval by the government of the State Anti-Corruption Program (SAP) expires. 

After several public discussions, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) developed a draft SAP and submitted it to the Cabinet of Ministers in advance. 

The state anti-corruption program is a crucial document that defines measures aimed at implementing the Anti-Corruption Strategy. The implementation of these measures is mandatory for state bodies, local self-government bodies, etc. 

The SAP clearly defines the performers of these measures, the deadlines and indicators which determine whether the measure has been implemented, etc. In short, we are talking about everything that gives specificity to the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021-2025 adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, which entered into force on July 10 last year.

The approval of the State Anti-Corruption Program was one of the 5 recommendations of Transparency International Ukraine that would help reduce the level of corruption in Ukraine. These recommendations were presented by the organization on the occasion of publishing the last year’s Corruption Perceptions Index, in which Ukraine has 32 points out of 100 and ranks 122nd out of 180.

Good news is that the Law “On Prevention of Corruption” gives the NACP the right to initiate a review of the SAP in the future based on the results of monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of implementing the Anti-Corruption Strategy. This will allow to further improve the adopted anti-corruption program, if necessary.

However, the government must first comply with the requirements of the current legislation and approve the State Anti-Corruption Program in the remaining 4 days. The approval of the SAP cannot be delayed in any case — Ukraine has already waited too long for the adoption of a new Anti-Corruption Strategy; the country has been without it since 2018. 

The Cabinet of Ministers should break this vicious circle and allow the Anti-Corruption Strategy to work in full and approve the SAP as soon as possible. This will determine the further progress of the state on the path of anti-corruption reform and European integration.

Failure to approve the SAP or its approval in a distorted form, in comparison with the NACP draft, will indicate a lack of consistent political will to continue the goal declared by the authorities — a systematic fight against corruption.

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The approval of the SAP cannot be delayed in any case!