Transparency International Ukraine calls on the Cabinet of Ministers to abandon the manual selection of individual projects for funding from the liquidation fund. Instead, a methodology of a mandatory nature must be approved to prioritize recovery projects.

In late January, the Cabinet of Ministers made a number of significant changes to the procedure for allocating resources from the Fund for the Liquidation of the Consequences of Armed Aggression. Some of them have really improved the procedure. However, along with these positive innovationsthe Cabinet of Ministers granted itself the authority to allocate funds for urgent financing of any projects related to the elimination of the consequences caused by armed aggression.

The following appeal:

–       may not meet the requirements for the availability of mandatory information (direction of use of funds, their volume, justification and calculation of funding, list of projects);

–       will not be subject to consideration by the relevant central executive authorities and the working group.

The government described this innovation as a “simplification” of the procedure for allocating funds. However, this is a significant step backward in ensuring transparent and high-quality prioritization of recovery projects. Such innovations create corruption risks and can contribute to the politicization of reconstruction processes. 

Last October, the Ministry of Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure approved a methodology for prioritizing projects to eliminate the consequences caused by the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine, which was developed by World Bank experts. TI Ukraine assessed this document with restraint, but its adoption set the right vector of movement towards a fair and reasonable distribution of limited resources for the reconstruction of the country. However, recent changes negate the prioritization of projects as the main safeguard against possible abuses.

Part of the funding can really be allocated for time-critical projects arising because of the war, for example, overcoming environmental disasters such as the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP dam. Then the Cabinet of Ministers promptly responded to the emergency not having such special powers. According to its regulations, it can adopt separate decisions, for example, in cases of emergencies. But most financial resources should be allocated according to clear rules.

We call on the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to abandon the manual selection of individual projects for funding, as this may have negative consequences for both the efficiency of spending and the trust of international partners. Instead, it is necessary to approve the methodology for prioritizing recovery projects, which will be mandatory during their selection for further financing.