It has been a month since Viktor Pavlushchyk was appointed Head of the NACP. Which steps have already been taken, and which challenges persist? Transparency International Ukraine experts have reviewed all available information and come up with their forecasts. 

On February 27, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Viktor Pavlushchyk Head of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention. The appointment of a new head was a must, given the impossibility of the Agency’s full-fledged operation without a leader. 

The NACP updated in 2020 is, undoubtedly, an entirely different institution than it used to be after its inception. However, some problems have not yet been resolved, and despite certain achievements in the work of Oleksandr Novikov, the previous head of the body, he failed to establish high-quality interaction with the public and take into account all the recommendations of experts, which could have significantly improved the work of the Agency. This was eventually reflected in the conclusions of the independent external evaluation of the NACP. 

In the course of the competition, Viktor Pavlushchyk, then a candidate, and now the new head of the NACP, shared his vision of the development of the National Agency. As of now, he has already managed to outline the future course of the Agency. So, let’s try to figure out the direction the NACP will take under the new leadership.

The main challenges the NACP is currently facing 

The past 4 years have been a period of real turbulence for the Agency.  

Perhaps the greatest challenge the NACP faced after its reboot was the constitutional crisis of 2020, which had been caused by the decision of the Constitutional Court to destroy the electronic declaration system and deprive the Agency of part of its powers. Back then, it seemed that the very existence of the institution was in jeopardy. Responding to the crisis, the authorities quickly joined in solving this problem: the powers of the NACP were restored, although it took almost a year to wait for the restoration of imprisonment for false declaration. 

However, after the full-scale invasion of Russia broke out, MPs abolished the mandatory e-declaration of officials for the duration of martial law. Thus, the Agency ceased to perform a crucial function assigned to it—checking declarations.  

Last October, MPs restored it, along with the mandatory e-declaration. However, this has caused a new challenge: now NACP specialists have to check the declarations for 2021-2023, which amount to about 2.5 million documents.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused no fewer problems. This was the reason the submission of reports by political parties was suspended for almost four years. The parliament eventually remedied this shortcoming, and last December, mandatory party reporting was resumed. However, now all the reports of political parties need to be collected and checked, which also requires considerable resources. 

Some of the external problems that have arisen during this time have already been solved, but they could have generated new ones. There are certain tasks within the Agency that the previous Head of the NACP either could not or did not want to solve, so this work will have to be done by Viktor Pavlushchyk. 

In general, the main focus of the NACP should be the prevention of corruption. According to the law, in addition to checking the declarations of officials and reports of political parties, the functions of the NACP include the protection of whistleblowers, monitoring of conflicts of interest and gifts, as well as the general formation of the anti-corruption policy of the state, etc. There have been difficulties in fulfilling each of these functions in recent years. 

First of all, the new Head of the NACP, in our opinion, will need to make changes to the structure of the work of the body itself. For example, some units currently perform the functions they are not supposed to perform. In particular, the internal control unit of the NACP checks the declarations of intelligence officers, counterintelligence officers, etc. This is not provided for by law and does not correlate with what this unit should do. 

Many of the NACP’s documents are closed from the public. We cannot assess how effectively the Agency does what it should do. For example, the rules of logical and arithmetic control of declarations are closed, according to which they are automatically analyzed and compared with data from registers and past declarations. 

There are other closed documents, for example, the procedures for inspections of intelligence officers and counterintelligence officers, etc. The procedure for lifestyle monitoring, which is now endless, is still inadequately regulated, and the mandate of the NACP employees is not clearly defined. There is currently no procedure for monitoring conflicts of interest in the NACP. 

Considerable potential for the development of the institution of whistleblowers remains. We still see problems in the functioning of the Unified Whistleblower Reporting Portal, in particular in ensuring the confidentiality of both the whistleblowers themselves and the information they provide.

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The past 4 years have been a period of real turbulence for the Agency.  

How Viktor Pavlushchyk plans to update the work of the NACP 

Let us remind you that Pavlushchyk came to the NACP from the outside. Before that, he worked in the NABU from the moment of its inception. So, there was a possibility that it might be a little more difficult for him to adapt to a new position because, in addition to scaling up his leadership skills, he would also have to switch from law enforcement to corruption prevention. The next six months will demonstrate how efficient he will be. 

Interestingly, already during his first speech before the NACP team, Viktor Pavlushchyk emphasized the importance of overcoming corruption as a prerequisite for integration with the European community and victory over the aggressor country. He also underscored that the Agency must fulfill its mandate effectively and noted that he expected each unit manager and employee to stay focused while implementing the tasks for which the NACP was created. 

In this context, we see the results of the independent external audit as the main benchmark for the new Head to increase the capacity of the NACP. International experts have provided well over one hundred recommendations that relate to all areas of the Agency’s activities. On the bright side, the selection commission has already supported the need to provide the winner of the competition with the results of the external evaluation. The new Head, in turn, showed his willingness to take them, as well as the recommendations of the European Commission, into consideration. 

Pavlushchyk has already proved that he is able to work on complex tasks. For example, in the NABU, it was he who dealt with the case of KAC films and the chairman and judges of the Supreme Court. Therefore, implementing the recommendations to improve the Agency’s operation can be just another difficult yet doable task. 

This is confirmed by the recent decision to terminate the NACP’s sanctions focus area. Thus, this week, at a meeting of the government, where Viktor Pavlushchyk was present together with representatives of the National Security and Defense Council, the Security Service, and the Prosecutor General’s Office, a decision was finally adopted to close the International Sponsors of War portal, which was administered by the NACP. Although this portal is important for Ukraine, in our opinion, this is the right step, given the lack of legislative grounds for the Agency to maintain this register, its limited resources, and international conflicts caused by the inclusion of certain companies in this list. The new Head mentioned the need for the NACP to move in the direction outlined by the legislator at the interview stage, and the decision gives hope that Viktor Pavlushchyk will fulfill what he promised during the interviews. 

Much of what the new Head said at the final interview correlates with the existing problems of the Agency. Pavlushchyk noted that competitions in the NACP lacked transparency, in contrast to the NABU. We at TI Ukraine have also repeatedly pointed this out in our studies. 

Thus, the first month of Viktor Pavlushchyk’s chairmanship in the NACP has been marked by positive changes that correspond to the strategic vision of the NACP development, which the new Head voiced while still a candidate. We hope that he will continue solving the long-known problems of the Agency’s operation and develop positive practices. Moreover, both the authorities and the public have enough mechanisms to control the work of the Head of the NACP. We at TI Ukraine will continue monitoring the activities of the Agency.

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Much of what the new Head said at the final interview correlates with the existing problems of the Agency.


As we can see, Viktor Pavlushchyk will face many challenges in his new position, but now it seems that he is quite capable of overcoming them. 

In general, the competition for the new Head of the NACP took place smoothly and set a high standard of transparency. Some stages of selection, for example, the final discussion and selection of the winner, demonstrated a new level of openness of such commissions. The organizational and technical support of the process by the Secretariat of the Commission ensured a smooth selection process.  

However, high-quality competitions are not a panacea for the inefficiency of the selected winner, but an opportunity to select top officials in a competitive and transparent manner. Time will tell how efficient they will be in their new positions.

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As we can see, Viktor Pavlushchyk will face many challenges in his new position, but now it seems that he is quite capable of overcoming them.